October 16, 2009
SPOUSES JOEL AND MARIETTA MARIMLA, Petitioners, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND HON. OMAR T. VIOLA, RTC Judge, Branch 57, Angeles City,Respondents. DECISION LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.: Before the Court is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. It seeks to annul the Order1 dated September 6, 2002 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City, Branch 57, denying petitioner spouses Joel and Marietta Marimla’s Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized, and the Order2 dated April 21, 2003 denying the Motion for Reconsideration thereof. The facts, as culled from the records, are as follows: On February 15, 2002, Special Investigator (SI) Ray C. Lagasca of the NBI Anti-Organized Crime Division filed two (2) applications for search warrant with the RTC of Manila seeking permission to search: (1) petitioners’ house located on RD Reyes St., Brgy. Sta. Trinidad, Angeles City3 and (2) the premises on Maria Aquino St., Purok V, Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Porac, Pampanga,4 both for Violation of Section 16, Article III of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6425, as amended. The said applications uniformly alleged that SI Lagasca’s request for the issuance of the search warrants was founded on his personal knowledge as well as that of witness Roland D. Fernandez (Fernandez), obtained after a series of surveillance operations and a test buy made at petitioners’ house. The purpose of the application for search warrants was to seize the following articles/items: Undetermined amount of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, popularly known as "SHABU," "MARIJUANA," weighing scale, plastic sachets, tooters, burner, rolling papers, and paraphernalia, all of which articles/items are being used or intended to be used in Violation of Republic Act 6425 as amended, and are hidden or being kept in said house/premises. 5 Executive Judge Mario Guariña III (Judge Guariña III) examined in writing and under oath SI Lagasca and Fernandez, in the form of searching questions and answers, and found that based on facts personally known to SI Lagasca and Fernandez, petitioners had in their possession and control, inside their house located on RD Reyes St., Brgy. Sta. Trinidad, Angeles City, an undetermined amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride known as shabu and marijuana. Pursuant these findings, Judge Guariña III issued a search warrant docketed as Search Warrant No. 02-2677, which commanded any peace officer "to make immediate search, at any time of the day or night, not beyond 10 days from date hereof, of the premises above-mentioned and forthwith seize and take possession of the properties subject of the offense and bring to his court said properties to be dealt with as the law directs."6
On the strength of this warrant, members of the NBI AntiOrganized Crime Division, namely, SI Lagasca, Primitivo M. Najera, Jr., Jesusa D. Jamasali, Horten Hernaez, and Ritche N. Oblanca, in coordination with the Philippine National Police of Angeles City, searched petitioners’ house on February 19, 2002 at around 5:00 in the morning.7They were able to seize cash in the amount of P15,200.008 and the following items: 1. One (1) brick of dried flowering tops wrapped in a packing tape marked "RCL-1-2677," (net weight - 915.7 grams); 2. One (1) small brick of dried flowering tape wrapped in a newsprint marked "RCL-2-2677" (net weight - 491.5 grams); 3. Dried flowering tops separately contained in sixteen (16) transparent plastic bags, altogether wrapped in a newsprint marked "RCL-3-2677" (net weight - 127.9 grams); and 4. Dried flowering tops separately contained in nine (9) plastic tea bags, altogether placed in a yellow plastic bag marked "RCL-4-2677" (net weight - 18.2736 grams).9 On February 20, 2002, an Information10 for Violation of Section 8, Article II of R.A. No. 6425, as amended by R.A. No. 7659, was filed against petitioners before the RTC of Angeles City, Branch 57, presided by herein respondent Judge Omar T. Viola. On March 25, 2002, petitioners filed a Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized11 on the following grounds: (1) the application for search warrant was filed outside the territorial jurisdiction and judicial region of the court where the alleged crime was committed; (2) the court which issued the questioned search warrant committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued the same because under the law it cannot issue a search warrant outside its territorial jurisdiction; (3) the questioned search warrant is void ab initio; and (4) the evidence illegally seized by virtue of the questioned search warrant is therefore inadmissible in evidence. In support of the above motion, petitioners filed a Motion to Admit Documentary Evidence,12 asking the court to admit the following documents: (1) application for Search Warrant No. 02-2677; (2) authorization letter dated February 12, 2002 with the signature of NBI Director Reynaldo G. Wycoco (Director Wycoco); (3) NBI ID No. 5370 of Agent Victor Emmanuel G. Lansang with the Signature of Director Wycoco; and (4) Administrative Matter (A.M.) No. 00-5-03SC (Re: Proposed Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure [Rules 110-127, Revised Rules of Court]). Petitioners claim that the issuance of Search Warrant No. 02-2677 was "defective considering the application was not personally endorsed by [Dir.] Wycoco," and that the latter’s signature in the authorization letter is different from that as appearing in the identification card, and therefore it is "not the true and genuine signature of [Dir.] Wycoco."13 In its Comment/Opposition to the Motion to Quash,14 the Office of the City Prosecutor, Angeles City claims that the questioned search warrant does not fall within the coverage
of Sec. 2 of Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, but under A.M. No. 99-10-09-SC,15 which authorizes the Executive Judges and Vice Executive Judges of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City to act on all applications for search warrants involving dangerous drugs, among others, filed by the NBI, and provides that said warrants may be served in places outside the territorial jurisdiction of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City. On August 14, 2009, SI Lagasca filed his Opposition and/or Answer to the Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized.16 He avers that Judge Guariña III issued Search Warrant No. 02-2677 by virtue of Administrative Order No. 20-9717 issued on February 12, 1997. He also claims that it was NBI Deputy Director for Special Investigation Fermin Nasol who signed the authorization letter in behalf of Director Wycoco, for him to apply for a search warrant in the house/premises of petitioners on RD Reyes St., Brgy. Sta. Trinidad, Angeles City and Maria Aquino St., Purok V, Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Porac, Pampanga for violation of R.A. No. 6425.1avvphi1 In an Order18 dated September 6, 2002, Judge Omar T. Viola denied petitioners’ Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized for lack of merit, ratiocinating as follows: The public prosecutor was able to point out that the search warrant issued by Judge Mario Guariña III, the Executive Judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court, is in order considering that AM 99-10-09-SC allows or authorizes executive judges and vice executive judges of the Regional Trial Court of Manila and Quezon City to issue warrants which may be served in places outside their territorial jurisdiction in cases where the same was filed and, among others, by the NBI. The NBI also was able to explain that the authority to apply search warrant was personally signed by Deputy Director for Special Investigation Fermin Nasol who is authorized to sign and that he was delegated the authority to sign for and in behalf of the NBI Director on documents of this like. Deputy Director Fermin Nasol having that authority to sign for and in behalf of the NBI Director, Reynaldo Wycoco, there is, therefore, compliance with the law regarding the issuance of authority to apply search warrant. WHEREFORE, in view of the revelation, the Court has no other recourse but to agree with the views of the prosecution as well as the NBI. And this being so, the Court finds not enough ground to quash the search warrant issued against Spouses Joel and Marietta Marilma. The motion filed by them and their supplement, is therefore denied, for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.19 On September 23, 2002, petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration20 on the ground that the denial of their Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized is not in accordance with the law and existing jurisprudence. They claim that no evidence was presented by Deputy Director Nasol that he was authorized to sign for and in behalf of Director Wycoco.
Said Motion for Reconsideration was likewise denied by respondent court on the ground that the issues raised therein were mere reiterations of petitioners’ arguments that had already been considered and passed upon in the Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized. Respondent court added: To elaborate, this Court believes and is of the opinion that the Deputy Director of the NBI possesses the authority to sign for and in behalf of the NBI Director requesting for the issuance of a search warrant and nothing in the Administrative Matter 99-10-09 prohibits the delegation of such ministerial act to the Deputy Director who is an alter ego of the NBI Director. It is also quite clear that the NBI Director approved said authorization for SI Ray Lagasca to apply for a search warrant because said document was never recalled or amended by the Office of the Bureau Director up to the present. The Court is also of the view that A.M. 99-10-09 is still valid, binding and legal by virtue of the fact that not even the Supreme Court (sic) did not make any pronouncement … withdrawing and or declaring the same ineffective, hence, until such order is issued, this Court must interpret and rule for its continued validity and applicability.21 Hence, this petition. Petitioners claim that the search warrant was issued in violation of A.M. No. 99-10-09-SC and Section 2 of Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. The pivotal issue to be resolved in this petition is whether or not the respondent court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed Orders dated September 6, 2002 and April 21, 2003, denying petitioners’ Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized and their Motion for Reconsideration, respectively. At the onset, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) prays for the dismissal of this petition on the ground that the filing of the said petition directly with this Court runs afoul of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts. The OSG argues that while this Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of Appeals (CA) over petitions for certiorari, this petition should have been filed with the CA. The OSG contends that the petitioners have not shown any compelling reason to justify the filing of the petition directly with this Court. The general rule is that a party is mandated to follow the hierarchy of courts. However, in exceptional cases, the Court, for compelling reasons or if warranted by the nature of the issues raised, may take cognizance of petitions filed directly before it.22 In this case, the Court opts to take cognizance of the petition, as it involves the application of the rules promulgated by this Court in the exercise of its rulemaking power under the Constitution.23 At the heart of the present controversy are A.M. No. 99-1009-SC, Clarifying the Guidelines on the Application for the Enforceability of Search Warrants, which was enacted on January 25, 2000; and A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC, the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, which took effect on December 1, 2000, specifically, Section 2, Rule 126 thereof. We quote the pertinent portions of the two issuances below:
Administrative Matter No. 99-10-09-SC Resolution Clarifying the Guidelines on the Application for the Enforceability of Search Warrants In the interest of an effective administration of justice and pursuant to the powers vested in the Supreme Court by the Constitution, the following are authorized to act on all applications for search warrants involving heinous crimes, illegal gambling, dangerous drugs and illegal possession of firearms. The Executive Judge and Vice Executive Judges of Regional Trial Courts, Manila and Quezon City filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOC-TF) and the Reaction Against Crime Task Force (REACT-TF) with the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City. The applications shall be personally endorsed by the Heads of the said agencies, for the search of places to be particularly described therein, and the seizure of property of things as prescribed in the Rules of Court, and to issue the warrants of arrest, if justified, which may be served in places outside the territorial jurisdiction of said courts. The authorized judges shall keep a special docket book listing the details of the applications and the result of the searches and seizures made pursuant to the warrants issued. This Resolution is effective immediately and shall continue until further orders from this Court and shall be an exemption to the provisions of Circular No. 13 dated 1 October 1985 and Circular No. 19 dated 4 August 1987. x x x A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure Rule 126 SEARCH AND SEIZURE Sec. 2. Court where application for search warrant shall be filed. – An application for search warrant shall be filed with the following: (a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed. (b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any court within the judicial region where the crime was committed if the place of the commission of the crime is known, or any court within the judicial region where the warrant shall be enforced. However, if the criminal action has already been filed, the application shall only be made in the court where the criminal action is pending. From the above, it may be seen that A.M. No. 99-10-09-SC authorizes the Executive Judge and Vice Executive Judges
of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City to act on all applications for search warrants involving heinous crimes, illegal gambling, dangerous drugs and illegal possession of firearms on application filed by the PNP, NBI, PAOC-TF, and REACT-TF. On the other hand, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure provides that the application for search warrant shall be filed with: (a) any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime was committed, and (b) for compelling reasons, any court within the judicial region where the crime was committed if the place of the commission of the crime is known, or any court within the judicial region where the warrant shall be enforced. Petitioners contend that the application for search warrant was defective. They aver that the application for search warrant filed by SI Lagasca was not personally endorsed by the NBI Head, Director Wycoco, but instead endorsed only by Deputy Director Nasol and that while SI Lagasca declared that Deputy Director Nasol was commissioned to sign the authorization letter in behalf of Director Wycoco, the same was not duly substantiated. Petitioners conclude that the absence of the signature of Director Wycoco was a fatal defect that rendered the application on the questioned search warrant void per se, and the issued search warrant null and void "because the spring cannot rise above its source." 24 We disagree. Nothing in A.M. No. 99-10-09-SC prohibits the heads of the PNP, NBI, PAOC-TF and REACT-TF from delegating their ministerial duty of endorsing the application for search warrant to their assistant heads. Under Section 31, Chapter 6, Book IV of the Administrative Code of 1987, an assistant head or other subordinate in every bureau may perform such duties as may be specified by their superior or head, as long as it is not inconsistent with law. The said provision reads: Chapter 6 – POWERS AND DUTIES OF HEADS OF BUREAUS AND OFFICES Sec. 31. Duties of Assistant Heads and Subordinates. – (1) Assistant heads and other subordinates in every bureau or office shall perform such duties as may be required by law or regulations, or as may be specified by their superiors not otherwise inconsistent with law. (2) The head of bureau or office may, in the interest of economy, designate the assistant head to act as chief of any division or unit within the organization, in addition to his duties, without additional compensation, and (3) In the absence of special restriction prescribed by law, nothing shall prevent a subordinate officer or employee from being assigned additional duties by proper authority, when not inconsistent with the performance of the duties imposed by law. Director Wycoco’s act of delegating his task of endorsing the application for search warrant to Deputy Director Nasol is allowed by the above quoted provision of law unless it is shown to be inconsistent with any law. Thus, Deputy Director Nasol’s endorsement had the same force and effect as an endorsement issued by Director Wycoco himself. The finding of the RTC in the questioned Orders that Deputy Director
A. Any unnecessary delay in the application. The 19 March 2008 letter of then P/Dir. No. Specific Powers. the Tariff and Customs Code. (italics ours)
In sum. Chief. Elepaño. was no longer in effect when the application for search warrant was filed on February 15. A. Razon). which took effect on December 1. was sent by then Police Director General Avelino I. being the later law. 03-8-02-SC entitled Guidelines On The Selection And Designation Of Executive Judges And Defining Their Powers. No.3 In connection thereto. the details of the applications and the results of the searches and seizures made pursuant to the warrants issued. which was enacted on January 25. Prerogatives and Duties of Executive Judges in Judicial Supervision Sec. should have been applied. Petitioners also assert that the questioned Search Warrant was void ab initio.M. Viola of the RTC of Angeles City. and the second one. Razon requested that – [He] be allowed to delegate the endorsement of the application for search warrant to the Director of the
. RAZON FOR AUTHORITY TO DELEGATE THE ENDORSEMENT OF APPLICATION FOR SEARCH WARRANT.: Before Us are two communications. we cannot find any irregularity or abuse of discretion on the part of Judge Omar T.M. Gen. (P/Dir. are hereby AFFIRMED. 2003. Prerogatives And Duties.1 dated 19 March 2008. which explicitly stated that the guidelines in the issuance of search warrants in special criminal cases by the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City shall be an exception to Section 2 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. as amended. may not be able to act expeditiously on the required endorsements of application for search warrant. Razon). Hence. J. the Intellectual Property Code. and involved the procedural requirement that applications for search warrant filed before Regional Trial Courts (RTCs) of Manila and Quezon City should be personally endorsed by heads of the PNP. RESOLUTION CHICO-NAZARIO. No. to wit:25 Chapter V. Gen. They maintain that A. both issued by respondent Judge Omar T. In fact. SO ORDERED. from Police Director General Jesus A. and included herein by the Supreme Court. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). especially on cases which require immediate search and seizure of any contraband. Gen. The Executive Judges and Vice-Executive Judges concerned shall issue the warrants. the first letter. 08-4-4-SC July 7. and other relevant laws that may hereafter be enacted by Congress. the Vice-Executive Judges of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City shall have authority to act on applications filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). for search warrants involving heinous crimes. illegal gambling. The petitioners’ contention lacks merit.M. Verzosa). the enforcement of the search warrant in Angeles City. which may be served in places outside the territorial jurisdiction of the said courts. 2000.2dated 25 November 2008. if justified. Both letters were addressed to then Court Administrator Zenaida N. They argue that the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. – The Executive Judges and. Issuance of search warrants in special criminal cases by the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City. This Section shall be an exception to Section 2 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. The Orders dated September 6. which was outside the territorial jurisdiction of RTC Manila. Judge Guariña III had complied with the procedural and substantive requirements for issuing the questioned search warrant.M. illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions as well as violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.M. 99-10-09-SC provides that the guidelines on the enforceability of search warrants provided therein shall continue until further orders from this Court. whenever they are on official leave of absence or are not physically present in the station. The applications shall be personally endorsed by the heads of such agencies and shall particularly describe therein the places to be searched and/or the property or things to be seized as prescribed in the Rules of Court. would not serve the purpose for which the search warrant was applied for and render the ends of justice nugatory. 99-10-09-SC are reiterated in A.Nasol possessed the authority to sign for and in behalf of Director Wycoco is unassailable. 2002 and April 21. 2000. Chapter V of the Guidelines on the Selection and Appointment of Executive Judges] need to be endorsed personally by the undersigned otherwise the application would not be acted upon. Razon. Razon manifested his apprehension that – [R]ecently that the concerned Executive Regional Trial Court Judges have required that the applications for search warrants in accordance with the [Section 12. 2009
RE: REQUEST OF POLICE DIRECTOR GENERAL AVELINO I. due to the numerous demands of his office. was in violation of the law. Viola for denying petitioners’ Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Seized. Branch 57. P/Dir. 2002. Verzosa (P/Dir. The Executive Judges and the authorized Judges shall keep a special docket book listing names of Judges to whom the applications are assigned. 99-10-09-SC. the petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED. WHEREFORE. No. the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. On the contrary. and the AntiCrime Task Force (ACTAF) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). No. the guidelines in A. The undersigned (P/Dir. Jr. 12. Gen. the succeeding Chief of the PNP. Philippine National Police (PNP). the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTAF). Gen.
Philippine National Police (PNP). the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. as endorsed by the Director for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM). Jose P. 03-8-02. Perez. No.M.. Prerogatives and Duties. The amendment may also achieve the reason for and purpose of the requested ‘continuing authority. that – Since Section 12. Thereby. that "the matter of whether this requirement may be relaxed such that the endorsement of applications for search warrant may be delegated to a subordinate officer should be resolved insofar as it applies only to General Razon. the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA). in view of his inherent investigative functions and as Commander of the Task Force USIG and Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force. Police Chief Superintendent Raul M. based on the following considerations – Being the chief of the PNP. asked of the Court that –
Should the [15 April 2008 Resolution of the Court] be rendered moot by mere change of PNP leadership.10 The Court directed the Court Administrator and the Chief Attorney to comment on P/Dir. SORIANO). a change in leadership in the PNP would not require the incumbent PNP Chief to seek the authority of the Court to delegate his function to endorse an application for search warrant. and in the discharge of his duties and responsibilities. to wit: The Court Resolved. Issuance of search warrants in special criminal cases by the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City.
.e. RAZON.1avvphi1 In a Memorandum dated 19 December 2008.5 Court Administrator Elepano’s above-quoted recommendation. wherein the application for search warrant filed by the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF). thus. recommended that the current Chief of the PNP. Chapter V of A. Verzosa’s request.8 was denied by Executive Judge Reynaldo Ros of the Manila RTC." In a Resolution dated 15 April 2008. the authority to endorse applications for search warrant which are to be filed before the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City. he is expected to be very mobile. Chief. the PNP. Delegating the authority to endorse is a legal and viable option to address this problem and to ensure the speedy filing of applications for search warrant by the PNP. through a Memorandum dated 28 March 2008. the Court granted the request of P/Dir. whenever they are on official leave of absence or are not physically present in the station. The necessity for clarification resulted from an incident that occurred on 11 November 2008. as amended." preceding from the assumption that "the concern of General Razon [was] peculiar to him alone since the heads of the other agencies have no problem in complying with the requirement in question. Bacalzo. No. on the other hand. illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions as well as violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Court Administrator Elepano recommended to Chief Justice Reynato S. Razon to delegate the authority to endorse the applications for search warrant.M. the undersigned formally requests for the issuance of a Resolution granting continuing authority delegating to the Director. he Intellectual Property Code. General Razon oversees the operations of the entire police force all over the Philippines. No. Razon. the compliance of which is dependent upon the presence of General Razon in his office. the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTAF). through incumbent Court Administrator. to delegate the authority to endorse the applications for search warrant to be filed in the Regional trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City to the Director of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management of the PNP in connection with Section 12 of the Guidelines on the Selection and Appointment of Executive Judges (A. 03-8-02-SC. it may be best for the Court to amend that guideline. Verzosa. submitted on 13 March 2009. the Tariff and Customs Code. His constant official and ceremonial functions compel him to be out of his office most of the time." dictates that – SEC. upon the recommendation of Court Administrator Zenaida N. Razon. observed in its Comment. Gen. carried a qualification. and to make the delegation applicable to all heads of law enforcement agencies regardless of the holder of those positions. to GRANT the request of Police Director General Avelino I. for search warrants involving heinous crimes. JR. that leave be granted allowing P/Dir. Gen. however. i. on 25 November 2008. Gen. The Court finds the observations and recommendations of the OCA and OCAT to be well taken. Sec. and included herein by the Supreme Court. entitled "Guidelines on the Selection and Appointment of Executive Judges and Defining their Powers. the Vice-Executive Judges of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City shall have authority to act on applications filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). 03-8-02-SC). on the ground that the authority to delegate was "already inoperative for it only applies to the incumbency of PDG AVELINO I.6 Thereafter. 6975.’ especially because the authority of the PNP Chief to delegate functions is expressly recognized by Section 26 of Republic Act No. DIDM the endorsement of SW application in behalf of the Chief. The Office of the Chief Attorney (OCAT). asked the Court for "clarification x x x regarding the construction on the duration or effectivity"7 of the 15 April 2008 Resolution of the Court. Gen.M. PNP. illegal gambling."9 P/Dir. 12. Verzosa.4 Acting upon the foregoing letter. being the requesting party. 12. PNP before the said courts to withstand future changes of officers. should be allowed to delegate to the Director of the DIDM.Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (PDIR JEFFERSON P. – The Executive Judges and. Chapter V of the Guidelines for Executive Judges appear to be the hindrance to immediate action on applications for search warrant in the cases mentioned therein. At present. as well as all his successors thereafter. this time under the headship P/Dir. Puno. and other relevant laws that may hereafter be enacted by Congress. Elepaño. Gen. Such situation poses a problem in terms of expediting the filing of application for search warrant by the PNP in the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City because of the requirement under Section 12 of A.
No. Jesus A. the immediate endorsement of which is a must in order for the PNP to be effective and responsive in the conduct of its criminal investigation. 12. NBI. 03-8-02SC must be amended to delete the word "personally" in the second paragraph of Sec. 12. as well. The Executive Judges and Vice-Executive Judges concerned shall issue the warrants. Chapter V of the Guidelines on the Selection and Appointment of Executive Judges and Defining their Powers. This Section shall be an exception to Section 2 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. the PNP Chief must not be tied to his desk. This Section shall be an exception to Section 2 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.)
. the safeguard in Sec. Recent developments and trends in criminality require the PNP Chief to be mobile. the details of the applications and the results of the searches and seizures made pursuant to the warrants issued.M. 03-8-02-SC. as it is hereby Resolved. illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions as well as violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Chap.M. Verzosa for leave to delegate to the Director of the DIDM. Prerogatives and Duties. the Tariff and Customs Code. the Vice-Executive Judges of the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City shall have authority to act on applications filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Judge Ros correctly denied the application for search warrant of the PNP for being defective.. The Executive Judges and the authorized Judges shall keep a special docket book listing names of Judges to whom the applications are assigned. No. Nevertheless. V thereof. it may be presumed that the
delegation of authority by the head of the agency concerned is in accordance with law. THEREFORE. No. One such document may be an application for a search warrant. evident that for the PNP to function more effectively and efficiently in its campaign against criminality. if justified. 12. Gen. the very specific requirement under Sec. whenever they are on official leave of absence or are not physically present in the station. V of A. As correctly observed by the OCAT. NOW.11 (Emphasis supplied. Chap. Chapter V of A. 03-8-02-SC." the Court is of the view that theabridged phrase "or their respective duly authorized officials" is more than sufficient to serve the intended purpose. and (2) Sec. to be efficient in the campaign to fight crime. is hereby GRANTED in accordance with Sec.M. PNP. 12. and ACTAF of the AFP. as correctly pointed out by the OCAT.12 A. However. The applications shall be endorsed by the heads of such agencies or their respective duly authorized officials and shall particularly describe therein the places to be searched and/or the property or things to be seized as prescribed in the Rules of Court. therefore. to delegate to their duly authorized representatives the duty to endorse applications for search warrant to be filed before the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City. which may be served in places outside the territorial jurisdiction of the said courts. the Court acknowledges that. That being the case. Razon. No. as embodied in A. as suggested. 12. 12. if justified.13 The aforementioned amendments of Sec. Hence. and ACTAF of the AFP. for search warrants involving heinous crimes. the authority to endorse applications for search warrants to be filed before the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City.) From a cursory reading of the aforementioned provision of A. The phrase "as provided by law" is a mere surplus since. so that he will be effective in the performance of several functions and responsibilities attendant to his position. the Intellectual Property Code. (Emphasis supplied. It is. – The Executive Judges and. Accordingly. the endorsement of applications for search warrant to be filed before the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City. Chap.M. No. as to the proposal of the OCAT toinsert the phrase "or their respective duly authorized officials as provided by law. calls for a review. Gen. Verzosa. and included herein by the Supreme Court. Gen. which may be served outside the territorial jurisdiction of the said courts. was personal to P/Dir.The applications shall be personally endorsed by the heads of such agencies and shall particularly describe therein the places to be searched and/or the property or things to be seized as prescribed in the Rules of Court. personally endorse applications of search warrants to be filed before the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City – deters the delegation of said duty even to their authorized representatives. 12. The authority granted by the Court to P/Dir. the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Crime Task Force (ACTAF). is hereby AMENDED to read as follows: SEC. that: (1) The request of P/Dir. there will be instances when documents demanding the PNP Chief’s immediate attention and signature will not be acted upon right away. NBI. but the heads of the NBI and ACTAF of the AFP. PNP. in the incident recounted in the 25 November 2008 letter of P/Dir.M. i. the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. Gen. It cannot be invoked by P/Dir. 03-8-02-SC. 03-8-02-SC. Gen. it is crystal that applications for search warrant to be filed before the RTCs of Manila and Quezon City must be essentially approved in person by the heads of the following agencies: the PNP. the details of the applications and the results of the searches and seizures made pursuant to the warrants issued. Issuance of search warrants in special criminal cases by the Regional Trial Courts of Manila and Quezon City. Razon’s successor. will not only enable the Chief of the PNP. 03-8-02-SC – that the heads of the PNP. 03-8-02SC. in accordance with the following discussion. The Executive Judges and the authorized Judges shall keep a special docket book listing names of Judges to whom the applications are assigned. No.M. No. and other relevant laws that may hereafter be enacted by Congress. requiring the PNP Chief’s personal endorsement of an application for search warrant.M. The Executive Judges and ViceExecutive Judges concerned shall issue the warrants. as approved by the Court in its Resolution of 27 January 2004. as amended. illegal gambling. V of A. Chapter V of A. BE IT RESOLVED. Razon to delegate to the Director of DIDM.e. as it is hereinafter amended.
of 9 September 1999. serious misconduct. 364 ordering the seizure of several pieces of mangrove lumber from complainant’s fishpond in Bulawan. Chu ("complainant") against Judge Camilo E. Respondent judge attributed such omission to the fact that at that time. 2003
(Search Warrant Nos. 364. he personally examined a certain Reynaldo Cuaresma ("Cuaresma"). complainant again obtained. under questionable procedure. Branch 24. and grave abuse of discretion filed by Alfredo Y. RTC Pagadian City Executive Judge Franklyn A. a copy of the complete records of the case. Region IX. A. however. CENRO dela Cruz claimed that complainant was in possession of "forest products of dubious origin" in violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No." to recopy such transcript. In his Report.This amendment shall apply to all current. He further asserted that the copy of the transcript in question was numbered page 5. Ninth Judicial Region. No.m. before issuing the warrant in question. However. Zamboanga del Sur. as amended. Due to the conflicting factual allegations of the parties. also certified by Clerk of Court Lumapas. Respondent. however. respondent judge attached to his Indorsement an alleged computer printout of the transcript. respondent judge issued four search warrants against him
. Thus. Thus. for the second time. as forwarded by respondent judge to the OCA and as obtained by complainant. Molave. Zamboanga del Sur. CHU."2 In response to the directive of the Office of the Court Administrator ("OCA") of this Court to comment on the complaint.790. for the first time. refused to accept the referral of the case. seized from complainant 576 pieces of pagatpat lumber (mangrove specie) with an estimated value of P183. 364. authorizing the seizure from his compound of pagatpat lumber worth more than P1. allegedly a witness of CENRO dela Cruz. On 24 September 1999. SO ORDERED. in Ipil. These certified copies did not contain any transcript of respondent judge’s examination of CENRO dela Cruz or his witnesses as required under Section 4. Complainant recalled that on 10 November 1998. vs. and (2) secure from Clerk of Court Lumapas her explanation on the apparent discrepancy between the copy of the records of Search Warrant No. J.M. respondent judge issued Search Warrant No. the Court directed the Executive Judge of the RTC of Pagadian City. dated 30 July 2001. respondent judge reiterated the claim he made in his Indorsement of 16 December 1999 that he examined a certain Reynaldo Cuaresma before issuing Search Warrant No. He claimed that a transcript of the examination was included in the records of Search Warrant No. In lieu of the original copy.: The Case This is a complaint for gross ignorance of the law. Presiding Judge. Complainant. DECISION CARPIO. denied the motion on the ground that he had in fact conducted such examination but the record of the "deposition" was "misfiled in another case folder through inadvertence. JUDGE CAMILO E. and ACTAF of the AFP. applied for a search warrant with respondent judge. assisted by law enforcement agents. he forwarded the records to the OCA on 30 September 1999 in connection with his request for the transfer of the case to the RTC. Complainant pointed out that this was the fifth time that respondent judge issued. the pages of the records were not yet "physically paged. as well as succeeding heads of the PNP. Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Michael F. respondent judge forwarded the records to the OCA with a request for their transmittal to Branch 24. TAMIN. that the legal researcher in his office who prepared the duplicate copy issued to complainant on 22 September 1999 failed. On 22 September 1999. denied complainant’s allegations. dela Cruz ("CENRO dela Cruz") of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Branch 24. as certified by Branch Clerk of Court Ma. claiming that the time and date of its encoding was verifiable in the computer files in his office. CENRO dela Cruz.5 million. Complainant alleged that the records of the four warrants did not also contain any transcript of the required examination of witnesses. NBI. through "pure inadvertence. Zamboanga del Sur ("Branch 24"). search warrants against him for violation of PD 705. Molave. However. Payao. Tamin ("respondent judge") of the Regional Trial Court. He attached in his report the explanations of respondent judge and Clerk of Court Lumapas." He claimed that the pages were numbered only upon preparation of the records for transmittal to Branch 24 the following week. Regional Trial Court. respondent judge. complainant filed this administrative complaint. On the same day. Respondent judge asserted that at around 1:15 p. Zamboanga del Sur ("Branch 23"). 364 in Branch 23. Asuncion Pabatao-Lumapas ("Clerk of Court Lumapas"). in his Second Indorsement ("Indorsement") dated 16 December 1999. Branch 23. 364. 7051 ("PD 705"). RTJ-03-1786 August 28. Complainant therefore moved to quash the four warrants. 281 to 284). Zamboanga del Sur to: (1) verify from Branch 23 whether respondent judge examined any witness before issuing Search Warrant No. 364. Villegas ("Executive Judge Villegas") stated that he verified the records of Search Warrant No. dated 11 July 2001. He found on page 5 of the records a copy of the transcript of the examination conducted by respondent judge on one Reynaldo Cuaresma. On the strength of the warrant. complainant obtained from Branch 23 a copy of the complete records of the issuance of Search Warrant No. The OCA later
ALFREDO Y. He explained that the records of the case contained a copy of the transcript of the examination. It shall take effect on 20 July 2009 and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines not later than 5 July 2009. Respondent judge. 364. Branch 23. The Facts Complainant alleged that on 9 September 1999.3 In his explanation. respondent judge alleged.
produced [only] after the filing of the instant complaint.8 as follows: Under the above provision. there have been several decisions of the Supreme Court to the effect that mere ceremonial searching questions and answers reiterating the contents of the affidavits will not be sufficient compliance [there] with. that the 29-page copy of the records obtained by complainant constitutes the entire record of the matter. This explanation fails to persuade us. Article III of the Constitution which states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons. the Court referred this case to the OCA for evaluation. and searching questions should be propounded by the examining Judge. The Report reads in part: Respondent judge stands firm on his claim that he conducted searching questions on Reynaldo Charesma [sic].000 fine. (Emphasis supplied)9 Respondent judge explained that in issuing Search Warrant No. Court of Appeals. x x x x. Rule 1266 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides: The judge must. The Court. together with the affidavits submitted. in Pendon v. the issuance of a search warrant is justified only upon a finding of probable cause. Section 5.10This renders improbable respondent judge’s claim that the transcript already formed part of the records but the legal
.7 reiterated the requirements of Section 2 on the issuance of search warrants. respondent judge failed to observe an elementary rule which amount[s] to ignorance of the law. in writing and under oath. First. report. first on 22 September 1999 and later on 24 September 1999. R. Rule 126.] respondent judge apparently believes that searching questions need not be in writing. 283 and 28 taken on 21 January 1999 at 9:30 a. In this case. before issuing the warrant. (Emphasis in the original) The Ruling of the Court The report of the OCA is well-taken. and (3) the examination must be reduced to writing in the form of searching questions and answers. the OCA found respondent judge liable for gross ignorance of the law and recommended the imposition of a P5. Th[e] Court has often impressed upon judges that as mandated by the Code of Judicial Conduct. and under oath of the complainants and his witnesses. (2) the examination must be under oath. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers.m.returned the records to respondent judge as their proper custodian. Further. 364. it is required that: (1) the judge x x x must examine the x x x witnesses personally. the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements.4 Clerk of Court Lumapas affirmed respondent judge’s claims and defenses in her explanation dated 11 July 2001. Respondent judge’s own Clerk of Court certified twice. This is borne by the following exchange during the said hearing: Atty. (Emphasis supplied) This provision implements the proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures found in Section 2. 281. it was noted that during the hearing of [complainant’s motion to quash Search Warrant] Nos. which judges must strictly observe. Rambuyong [Counsel for complainant Alfredo Chu]: In other words Your Honor. respondent judge erred because Section 5. it can be concluded that respondent judge either did not conduct the required searching questions. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. he complied with the rule that he must "personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. "mere affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses is not enough. houses." Respondent judge stated. in writing and under oath. Thus. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. or if he did. that the certified copies of the records obtained by complainant did not include the transcript of his examination because the clerical staff in his office who prepared the certified copies inadvertently failed to do so. x x x In determining the existence of probable cause. As a matter of fact.[." As a matter of fact. the Supreme Court has required. We find this claim highly suspect.5 In the Resolution of 10 September 2001. the respondent judge [initially] failed to produce a copy of the transcript of the searching questions allegedly made on September 9. 1999 and append the same to the record of the case. however. the complainant and the witnesses. 282. [of the ] Rules of Court specifically [requires such] x x x. and recommendation. Your Honor. they would not admit that the accused received copies? Court: Is there a rule that the searching question must be in writing? Atty. I cited that in my supplemental motion and the Court said that. Rambuyong: From the Case of HATA versus BAYONA. they owe it to the public and legal profession to know the very law they are supposed to apply to a given case. in fact. There must be the deposition in writing. From the foregoing. thereby subjecting him to disciplinary action.
This is a basic legal precept which all judges are expected to be conversant with. x x x x The transcript of the searching questions was. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for whatever purpose shall be inviolable. R. OCA’s Findings and Conclusions In its Report dated 10 December 2002. he did not put it in writing.
ELENA S. MARIA A. — A judge should be the embodiment of competence. and to the public who depends on him.2 the first quashing Search Warrant No. JOSEPH DE LUNA. Tamin. He owes [it] to the dignity of the court he sits in. and other pleadings filed by the parties.4 As alleged in the complaint. John and Jane Does. 364 were unnumbered when complainant requested for copies. SO ORDERED. Petitioners. respondent judge should be fined P5. AND SOLID LAGUNA CORPORATION. Neither did respondent judge state that the pages of the contents of the folder of Search Warrant No. 156804. WILSON ALEJANDRO. doing business under the name and
. What was said in a case. within two days of each other. DASMARIÑAS.01. When the law is so elementary. No. and IFPI (SOUTHEAST ASIA). TAN. the Court gathers the following relevant facts: In a criminal complaint filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ). Branch 23. Cavite. Judge Camilo Tamin. denying reconsideration of the first. David Chung. as respondent judge claims. No. who had earlier professed ignorance of the rule in question. The alleged legal researcher.000 to be deducted from his accrued leave credits. LIM. 219-00. respondent judge should have shown Executive Judge Villegas. JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES. the comment thereon of private respondents. 1987. JAMES UY. DAVID S.000.. VELA CRUZ. constitutes gross ignorance of the law. docketed as I. JUDGE DOLORES L. he should have secured the affidavit of Cuaresma. through Agent Ferdinand M. JAMES H. the Videogram Regulatory Board (VRB)3charged herein private respondents James Uy. It is imperative that he be studious of and conversant with basic legal principles. DECISION GARCIA. guilty of gross ignorance of the law.14 WHEREFORE. not to know it or to act as if one does not know it. he personally examined a certain Cuaresma as the witness of CENRO dela Cruz. Zamboanga del Sur. the only proof on record in his favor is an unsigned computer printout of the alleged record of the examination. 2003.S. CAVITE. Lavin. to know the law which he is called upon to x x x apply. 20021 and January 6. What he stated in his Indorsement was that the records contained a copy of the transcript but the same was already forwarded to the OCA. applied on September 18.000 should be deducted from respondent judge’s accrued leave benefits. the magnetic (hard disk) copy of the transcript allegedly stored in his office computer. the Court finds respondent Judge Camilo E. Curiously. HON.01 — A judge shall x x x maintain professional competence. such as the provisions of the Constitution and the Rules of Court on search warrant issuance. could not have committed the same mistake.11 Specifically. On account of this and petitioners’ own complaints for copyright infringement. the four (4) were engaged in the replication. JR. On 26 June 2003. in his Indorsement of 16 December 1999. DAVID CHUNG. in Gregorio Limpot Lumapas v. respondent judge failed to conform to the high standards of competence required of judges under the Code of Judicial Conduct. Elena Lim and another officer of respondentSolid Laguna Corporation (SLC) with violation of Presidential Decree (PD) No. INC. We uphold the OCA’s findings that respondent judge. 2000. to the legal profession he belongs. From the petition. respondent judge did not point to his legal researcher’s negligence as the cause for the discrepancy.. during the latter’s investigation. their respective annexes. which mandates that: Rule 1. 2000-1576. BRANCH 90. As it is." Thus. LIM. His omission renders him liable for gross ignorance of the law. who presumably also prepared the second certified copy. Respondent judge failed to secure their affidavits to corroborate his claims. ESPANOL OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). integrity. Respondents. bears repeating here: [A judge] is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules.13 this Court dismissed respondent judge from the service for "disobedience to an order issued by a superior court.). Not only that. He is ordered to pay a fine of P5. SUSAN L. LTD. Respondent judge should also have secured the affidavit of the unnamed "legal researcher" who allegedly prepared the copies of the records obtained by complainant. other than respondent judge’s bare claim that he examined a certain Cuaresma.researcher in his office inadvertently missed it in preparing the copy obtained by complainant on 22 September 1999. Rule 3. of the Regional Trial Court. These omissions bolster complainant’s claim and correspondingly weaken respondent judge’s defense. and independence. as well as for gross ignorance of the law x x x with forfeiture of all benefits due him except for accrued leave credits. 2005 SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT (PHILS. with the Regional Trial Court at Dasmariñas. Molave. and the second. J. there would be on the part of the litigants less expense and greater faith in the administration of justice if there be a belief on their part that the occupants of the bench cannot justly be accused of apparent deficiency in their grasp [of] legal principles. UY. vs. March 14.: Assailed and sought to be nullified in this petition for certiorari with application for injunctive relief are the orders issued by the respondent judge on June 25. Branch 80. it does not suffice to exculpate respondent judge from administrative liability. failed either to examine any witness before issuing Search Warrant No. If. reproduction and distribution of videograms without license and authority from VRB. 364 or to reduce the examination in writing. presided by the respondent judge.12 similarly involving gross ignorance of basic rules. James Uy. the fine of P5. Lastly. for the issuance of search warrants against private respondents David Chung. G.1âwphi1
On the Penalty to be Imposed As recommended by the OCA. Considering that any one can easily create and print out such document. twice in a row.R.
sale and distribution of various titles of compact discs (CDs) in violation of petitioners’ right as copyright owners. 2001. The following day. armed with the DOJ resolution adverted to. be considered an unauthorized reproducers of videograms".
Eventually. 2000-1576.18 On February 8. 2001-1158. since 1998 and up to the time of the search. however. February 15. No. the premises of SLC and to see various replicating equipment and stacks of CDs. complaining about the manufacture.9 An inventory of seized items. to inspecting only one (1) box containing 35 assorted CDs. petitioners’ counsel objected to any further examination. via a resolution dated January 15. Agent Lavin presented. Following their receipt of DOJ-issued subpoenas to file counter-affidavits. 2001.11 dismissed VRB’s complaint in I. 220-008 for violation of Section 6 of PD No.14 The respondent judge. the aforesaid Search Warrants are QUASHED" Petitioners forthwith sought clarification on whether or not the quashal order referred to both search warrants or to Search Warrant No. 2002 in I. 8293 and Search Warrant No. citing the January 15. the respondents in I. Meanwhile. since it was the latter that was based on the charge of violation of PD No. that in the process of their operation..10 as well as a "Return of Search Warrant" were later filed with the respondent court. 2002.6 On the basis of the foregoing sworn statements."20 During the preliminary investigation conducted on February 26. the DOJ denied VRB’s motion for reconsideration.12 VRB interposed an opposition for the reason that the DOJ has yet to resolve the motion for reconsideration it filed in I. claiming that such exercise was a mere subterfuge to delay proceedings. private respondents attached copies of SLC’s license as videogram duplicator and replicator. 2001-1158.16 Attached to the affidavit-complaint were certain documents and records seized from SLC’s premises.V. petitioners filed with the DOJ an affidavit-complaint. 219-00". diskettes. accompanied by another unnamed source. No.S. they were able to enter. led by PO2 Reggie Comandante.19 Private respondents were able to make an examination on the following scheduled setting.13 the respondent judge.5 During the proceedings on the application. the parties. 1987. In an order dated October 30. 2001. enforced both warrants and brought the seized items to a private warehouse of Carepak Moving and Storage at 1234 Villonco Road.style "Media Group" inside the factory and production facility of SLC at Solid corner Camado Sts. the respondent judge issued Search Warrant No. Paranaque City and their custody turned over to VRB. the three stated that petitioners sought their assistance. On the stated finding that "respondents can not . 2002. moved to quash the search warrants thus issued. No.A. Biñan. in a modificatory order dated January 29. The examination. they were licensed by VRB to operate as replicator and duplicator of videograms. Sucat. granted private respondents’ motion to quash. in the course of which unnamed persons informed them that allegedly infringing or pirated discs were being manufactured somewhere in an industrial park in Laguna. Domingo & Associates. 1987.S. The parties agreed to schedule another examination on (to be agreed by the parties) after the items/machines subject of the examination shall have been segregated from the other items/machines by Carepak Moving and Storage . Laguna. in violation of Section 6 of PD No. that acting on the complaint. 2000-1576. represented by their counsels. Inc. such as production and delivery records. however. the DOJ. On February 6. organizers and some folders and documents. In their sworn statements. 220-00 alone. as supplemented.S. testing stampers. provided it is made under the supervision of the court’s sheriff and in the "presence of the applicant of Search Warrant No. and that they were told by their anonymous source that the discs were being manufactured in the same premises. 220-00. 2002. in the search warrant case. Laguna International Industrial Park. did not push through on account of petitioners’ counsel insistence on Agent Lavin’s physical presence. and Rene C. and (2) per petitioners’ certification and a listing of Sony music titles. An NBI agent representing Agent Lavin appeared. No. petitioners’ attorney-in-fact. 8293. a deputized agent of VRB. or on November 22.21
. private respondents. as witnesses. a calendar. otherwise known as Intellectual Property Code.17 On January 30."Other items/machines were not examined because they cannot be identified as they are not properly segregated from other items/machines in the warehouse. 2002. No. No. They also testified that private respondents were (1) engaged in the reproduction or replication of audio and video compacts discs without the requisite authorization from VRB. 2001 DOJ resolution in I. albeit it was limited. No. private respondents moved. 2001. The minutes also contained an entry stating . charging individual private respondents with copyright infringement in violation of Sections 172 and 208 in relation to other provisions of RA No. that they be allowed to examine the seized items to enable them to intelligently prepare their defense. 1987. Rodolfo Pedralvez. 20001576. as the minutes of the inspection discloses.S. . dispositively stating: "Nonetheless. repaired to the Carepak warehouse. Agent Lavin and the witnesses conducted an investigation. prompting private respondents to move anew for the quashal of the search warrants. an investigator retained by the law firm R. 219-007 for violation of Section 208 of R. such being the case.15 clarified that her previous order quashed only Search Warrant No. infringing on petitioners’ copyrights in violation of Section 208 of Republic Act (RA) No. docketed thereat as I. Baltazar. presenting a VRB certification to such effect. elements of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. Meanwhile. .S. 2000-1576 belabored to prove before the DOJ Prosecutorial Service that. respondent judge issued an order allowing the desired examination.S. being "licensed to engage in reproduction in videograms under SLC in which they are the officers and/or or officials". 8293. In its supplement to motion.
Owing to their inability to locate respondent David Chung. it being inter alia alleged that the applicant and his witnesses lacked the requisite personal knowledge to justify the valid issuance of a search warrant. individual private respondents. . [petitioners’ counsel] Atty. In a Resolution dated February 19. it appears that on February 15. and adopting.23 On June 26.28 the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from implementing and enforcing the respondent judge’s questioned orders. thus. i. an examination was actually conducted. were (sic) examined in the presence of both parties with the sheriff. Public respondent recognized the motion to quash search warrant filed by persons who did not have any standing to question the warrant. petitioners interposed an opposition dated May 7. . the Court gave due course to the petition and directed the submission of memoranda which the parties. did submit. private respondents filed their Rejoinder. during the hearing before the Department of Justice (DOJ). arguing on the main that the quashal order was erroneously based on a ground outside the purview of a motion to quash. On February 22. Public respondent. the alleged seized items were commingled with and not segregated from thousands of other items stored in the warehouse. 2002. 2003. through counsel. in effect. private respondents’ failure to examine the seized items. Only one box . it shows that the items subject of the questioned Search Warrant were commingled with other items in the warehouse of Carepak resulting in the failure to identify the machines and other items subject of this Search Warrant. Private respondents filed their Comment on May 13. 2002. the issuance of search warrant was of no force and effect as there was absence of probable cause to justify said issuance. of said respondent from the case. It was based on a ground that is not a basis for quashal of a search warrant. . petitioners moved for reconsideration. Arevalo manifested their objection to the further examination on the alleged ground that all of the items subject of the DOJ complaint have been examined. Analyzing the report and the incidents relative thereto. respondent SLC filed a Manifestation joining its co-respondents in. 2. while the other items enumerated in the said Inventory of Seized Items and Certification of Legality. conducted a "preliminary investigation" that absolved the private respondents from any liability for copyright infringement. 2004. hence. Petitioners ascribe on the respondent judge the commission of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the first assailed order in that: 1.On April 11. 2003.
. violating their constitutional rights. As to be expected. after each securing an extension.e. Lastly. petitioners’ reply to comment traversed private respondents’ position. commingled as they were with other articles. they aver that petitioners violated the rule on hierarchy of courts by filing the petition directly with this Court. petitioners moved and the Court subsequently approved the dropping.Unfortunately. .24 On June 25. the charge imputed against the respondents could not be established as the evidence to show such violation fails to determine the culpability of said respondents. 3. Wrote the respondent judge: Based on the report submitted. respondent judge issued the second assailed order denying petitioners’ motion for reconsideration on the strength of the following premises: Careful scrutiny of the records of the case reveals that the application of the above-entitled case stemmed from the application for Search Warrant alleging that the respondent was not licensed to duplicate or replicate CDs and VCDs. this Court hereby recalls and quashes the above writ. and that the warrant was improperly enforced. SLC was still a holder of a valid and existing VRB license. Considering the fact that respondent was duly licensed which facts (sic) was not laid bare to this Court
when the application for writ was filed by the private complainant through the National Bureau of Investigation. which ground is extraneous to the determination of the validity of the issuance of the search warrant. without prejudice. 2002. The Court was misled when the applicants declared that Solid Laguna Corporation (SLC) is not licensed to engage in replicating/duplicating CDs and VCDs.22 To this motion to quash. taking into account that respondents were licensed to engage in replicating/duplicating CDs and VCDs. xxx27 Hence. that the warrant did not sufficiently describe the items to be seized. filed a "Motion To Quash Search Warrant (And To Release Seized Properties)" grounded on lack of probable cause to justify issuance of search warrant. Apart therefrom. 219-00. On January 6. when in truth and in fact.. 2003. .26 To this motion. 2004. 2002 predicated on four (4) grounds. Petitioners also deplore the issuance of the second assailed order which they tag as predicated on a ground immaterial to Search Warrant No. Section 5 of the Rules of Court and questioning the validity of the Special Powers of Attorney of petitioners’ attorney-in-fact to file this case. In Resolution of March 31. 2002. private respondents interposed an opposition. 219-00 principally on the ground that the integrity of the seized items as evidence had been compromised.29 On February 20. the respondent judge issued the herein first assailed order quashing Search Warrant No. petitioners’ present recourse. Orderliness and Regularity in the Execution and enforcement of Search Warrants were not examined. against which petitioners countered with a reply.25 Excepting. 2002. essentially reiterating their arguments in the "Motion To Quash Search Warrant (And To Release Seized Properties)". such that another date was set . therein inviting attention to petitioner IFPI’s failure to execute the certification on non-forum shopping as required by Rule 7. their motion to quash.
reading: SEC. prevail against the constitutionally protected rights of an individual because zeal in the pursuit of criminals cannot ennoble the use of arbitrary methods that the Constitution itself detests.30"in case of overriding social need and then only under the stringent procedural safeguards. however.The underlying issue before Us revolves on the propriety of the quashal of Search Warrant No. they testified under oath as to the truth of facts they had no personal knowledge of. Inc. applicant Agent Lavin and his witnesses. In net effect. the presumption of regularity is unavailing in aid of the search process when an officer undertakes to justify it. It has repeatedly been said that one’s house. We then verified from an informant that David Chung. Requisites for issuing search warrant. "stated in his affidavit and further expounded in his deposition that he personally knew of the fact that private respondents had never been authorized by his clients to reproduce.36 would. as held by us inColumbia Pictures. . determined by this Court that during the application hearing. your Honor . the presumptionjuris tantum of regularity cannot.37 wherein the en banc Court upheld the validity of search warrants based on the testimonies of the applicant and his witnesses who conducted an investigation on the unlawful reproduction and distribution of video tapes of copyrighted films. The respondent judge did not accordingly err in quashing the same. xxx xxx xxx 36. alone. Consistent with this postulate. by itself. 219-00 which. under the name and style Media Group were the ones replicating the infringing CDs. the issuance of the search warrant in question did not meet the requirements of probable cause. – A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause . its issuance being. James Uy . Question: What happened next? Answer: We then went to the Laguna Industrial Park. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. Absent the element of personal knowledge by the applicant or his witnesses of the facts upon which the issuance of a search
warrant may be justified. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized. in upholding the validity of the writ issued upon complaint of Columbia Pictures. Deposition of Agent Lavin 28. vs. humble is his castle where his person. The following excerpts of the depositions of applicant Lavin and his witnesses suggest as much: A. To prevent stealthy encroachment upon. . 5. much less finding thereof by the lower court. when queried during the application hearing how they knew that audio and video compact discs were infringing or pirated. to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. personally examine in form of searching questions and answers. Here. Court of Appeals. relied for the most part on what alleged unnamed sources told them and/or on certifications or lists made by persons who were never presented as witnesses. stated that "there is no allegation of misrepresentation.. ."38 Significantly. the issuing court probed the applicant’s and his witnesses’ personal knowledge of the fact of infringement. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. We are not persuaded. let alone gravely abuse her discretion. It was. In our view. in turn. Petitioners argue that the instant petition is on all fours with Columbia. not suffice under the law on the existence of probable cause. of no evidentiary weight35 or probative value. however. .31 For. The judge must. on the part of petitioners’ witnesses. papers and effects shall be secured and whence he shall enjoy undisturbed privacy except. the warrant is deemed not based on probable cause and is a nullity. houses. as rule. a liberal construction in search and seizure cases is given in favor of the individual. whether objected to or not.34 Testimony based on what is supposedly told to a witness. Pedralvez and Baltazar. 4. the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted. in writing and under oath. the reference is to facts.. resolves itself into question of the propriety of the warrant’s issuance in the first place. before issuing the warrant. Inc. therein petitioner’s attorney-in-fact. the Court. Examination of the complainant. or gradual depreciation of the right to privacy. record. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. thus The right of the people to be secure in their persons. Question: How do you know that all of these VCDs and CDs you purchased or are indeed infringing?
. lease and possess for the purposes of selling any of the copyrighted films. and in Section 4. In Columbia. meaning "the existence of such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place to be searched". and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. . arbitrary. et al. . viz Sec. Complementing the aforequoted provisions is Section 5 of the same Rule. in legal contemplation. Querubin. being patent hearsay and.33 And when the law speaks of facts." The protection against illegal searches and seizure has found its way into our 1935 and 1973 Constitutions and is now embodied in Article III. a witness of the applicant."39 Therein lies the difference with the instant case.32 A core requisite before a warrant shall validly issue is the existence of a probable cause. to borrow from Villanueva vs. data or information personally known to the applicant and the witnesses he may present. Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution.
They also had videograms without VRB labels. Sheriff of RTC Quezon City. Agent Lavin and his witnesses. had no personal knowledge that the discs they saw. obviously having in mind the holding in 20th Century Fox Film Corp. aside from artworks and labels. it must. if not readily available. as private respondents.e. pirated and unauthorized CDs.Answer: I have with me the VRB certification that the VCDs are unauthorized copies.42 would have this Court believe. unlike in Columbia. inconvenience or expenses out of proportion to its evidentiary value. Initial hearsay information or tips from confidential informants could very well serve as basis for the issuance of a search warrant. 849-852). The first is to determine whether a warrant should issue or be quashed. i. It is true that the Court.abuse of discretion cannot plausibly be laid at the doorstep of the issuing court on account of its prima facie holding that no offense has been committed. in the latter case. John Doe gave us a "Wholesome" CD while Jane Doe gave us "Kenny Rogers Videoke" and "Engelbert Humperdinck Videoke" which the informant told us were being reproduced in that facility. of presenting the master tapes of the copyrighted work. in similar application proceedings must be reliable. there was a reliable testimony to corroborate what the applicant testified to. vs.46 as what transpired in Columbia. and Andrew E. judging from their above quoted answers. the records show that such is not the case before us.40 C. if followed up personally by the recipient and validated. as well as the title list of Sony Music wherein some of the CDs purchased are indicated. But. the testimony of the police poseur-buyer in a buy-bust operation involving prohibited drugs. purchased or received were. Wholesome CD.44 that Agent Lavin’s informants’ testimonies are not indispensable as they would only be corroborative.41 Moreover. misrepresentation on the part of the applicant and his witnesses had been established in this case. and the second. the court must necessarily resolve whether or not an offense exists to justify the issuance or quashal of the warrant". does not rule out the use of testimonial or documentary evidence. be based on the witness’ personal knowledge. are proceedings entirely independent of each other. What they stated instead was that they were given copies of "Kenny Rogers Videoke". while yet another informant told them that the discs were manufactured at said premises. 28. whether an information should be filed in court. These are Kenny Rogers Videoke. The circumstances are different in this case wherein the applicant and his witnesses had no personal knowledge that the discs they purchased were infringing or pirated copies. On the issue that the public respondent gravely abused her discretion in conducting what petitioners perceived amounted to a "preliminary investigation". I also have with me the ComplaintAffidavit of Sony Music and IFPI that certified that these are infringing copies. (Annex "10". Chua Uy is not a winning card for petitioners. and the preliminary investigation before an authorized officer on the other. Deposition of Baltazar 18. I also have with me a listing of Sony Music titles and some of the CDs I purchased are in that list. in fact. Branch 93. Question: How did you determine that the CDs you purchased are counterfeit. Question: What did you see in that address? Answer: We saw that they had in stock several infringing. "Engelbert Humperdinck Videoke" and "Andrew E. depositions. In the exercise of this mandate . vs. however. To us. and. The more decisive consideration determinative of whether or not a probable cause obtains to justify the issuance of a search warrant is that they had personal knowledge that the discs were actually infringing.
This is not to say that the master tapes should have been presented in evidence during the application hearing. 841) B. The informant told us that the said samples were being reproduced in the facility. in determining the existence of probable cause in copyright infringement cases. 19. pp.which we can allow as being akin to conducting a preliminary investigation . admissions or other classes of evidence xxx especially where the production in court of object evidence would result in delay. at the very least. pirated and unauthorized discs in the subject facility.. Unlike their counterparts in Columbia who were found to be personally knowledgeable about their facts. Wholesome CD" by two anonymous sources. underscored the necessity. even if consequent to such holding a warrant is recalled and the private complainant is incidentally deprived of vital evidence to prove his case. Rollo. citing People v. Deposition of Pedralvez 27. Question: How do you know that all of these VCDs you purchased or got are indeed unauthorized? Answer: The VRB has certified that they are unauthorized copies. pirated or infringing on petitioners’ copyrights. The informant further showed us the rooms where the replicating and/or stamping machine was located. Chua Uy. for. pirated or unauthorized? Answer: The Attorney-in-fact of Sony Music and IFPI certified in his Complaint-Affidavit that they are unauthorized copies. pirated or unauthorized copies. (Annex "12". Comment. Solid Triangle succinctly explains why: The proceedings for the issuance/quashal of a search warrant before a court on the one hand.
.45 Like Columbia. Court of Appeals.Unfortunately.47 that "in the determination of probable cause. this Court has already ruled in Solid Triangle Sales Corp. Engelbert Humperdinck Videoke. It cannot be overemphasized that not one of them testified seeing the pirated discs being manufactured at SLC’s premises. Rollo. p. Petitioners argue. Comment. in 20th Century Fox. as emphatically clarified in Columbia "such auxiliary procedure. it is not enough that the applicant and his witnesses testify that they saw stacks of several allegedly infringing.43 What this Court is saying is that any evidence presented in lieu of the master tapes. if testimonial. Question: What proof do you have they are producing infringing materials? Answer: We were given some samples by John Doe and Jane Doe. One is not bound by the other’s finding as regards the existence of a crime.
it remains that the order of quashal is entirely independent of the proceedings in I. as well as Search Warrant No. As earlier stated. shows that the respondent judge denied petitioners’ motion for reconsideration because she was misled by the applicant’s and his witnesses’ testimony. Be that as it may. private respondents moved to quash both search warrants. DOJ..49 A motion for reconsideration before resort to certiorariis required precisely "to afford the public respondent an opportunity to correct any actual or fancied error attributed to it by way of re-examination of the legal and factual aspects of the case". or the non-existence. petitioners should be deemed in estoppel to raise the personality of individual private respondents to interpose a motion to quash. as presumptive owner of the seized items. cannot engage in such speculation and sees no need to. The subject warrant. Based as it were on hearsay and false information. 20001576 was filed against the officers of SLC. or on February 6. can raise that challenge. In a very real sense. 2002 motion to quash search warrant51 filed by the individual private respondents. This bring Us to the second assailed order. the mingling of the seized items with other items. were based on certifications and not personal knowledge. finds that no offense has been committed. No.50 Similarly. 2001 when the DOJ dismissed the complaint on the ground that SLC was. nonetheless. therefore. i. unauthorized or infringing. is extraneous to the determination of the validity of the issuance of the search warrant. This does not. albeit they cannot plausibly asked for the release and appropriate as their own the seized articles. 2000-1576. particularly those relating to how they knew that the compact discs they purchased or received were illegal. Indeed.e. I. whose authority to represent the petitioners in
. Shortly thereafter. it would be unsporting for petitioners to prosecute individual private respondents on the basis of seized articles but on the same breath deny the latter standing to question the legality of the seizure on the postulate that only the party whose rights have been impaired thereby. however. To be sure. No. The court does not oblige the investigating officer not to file the information for the court’s ruling that no crime exists is only of purposes of issuing or quashing the warrant. the answers of Agent Lavin and his witnesses to the public respondent’s searching questions. it does not interfere with or encroach upon the proceedings in the preliminary investigation. all of whom. formally manifested that it was adopting the same motion as its own. Domingo & Associates. among others. failed to comply with the rules requiring the filing of a certification on non-forum shopping.53 The motion clearly indicates private respondents’ desire for the return of the seized items. found respondent SLC to be licensed by VRB to engage in the business of replicating or duplicating videograms. overriding whatever misgivings she may have had with the applicant’s and his witnesses’ other answers. No. The records show that the seizure in question was effected on September 19. Summing up. to allow the aggrieved party the chance to convince the court that its ruling is erroneous. it being the purpose of such recourse to provide the court an opportunity to cleanse itself of an error unwittingly committed. in I. however. It is to be pointed out.When the court. as to the matter of the respondent judge’s recognizing the April 11.S. therefore. 8293. It may well have been that the issuing judge was.
Petitioners’ related argument that SLC could not have validly adopted individual private respondents’ motion to quash due to laches is untenable. meaning SLC. 2001-1158. A scrutiny of the text of the said order. its issuance was without probable cause and. As above discussed. And needless to stress. No. however. with like effect.S. invalid. In our review of the records. There can really be no serious objection to a judge correcting or altogether altering his case disposition on a motion for reconsideration. except for one. was issued nonetheless. utilizing as tools of indictment the very articles and papers seized from the premises of SLC. need not detain us long. duly licensed by the VRB. and there is nothing in the records showing that petitioners objected to the motion on the ground that the movants had no standing to question the warrants. less than five (5) months after the seizure. though.48 While the language of the first questioned Order may be viewed as encroaching on executive functions.V. or. Ltd. are also private respondents in the instant petition. 2001. as petitioners would like to believe. that public respondent corrected her error when it was raised in petitioners’ motion for reconsideration. No.A. his representation which turned out to be false. 2000-1576 was only resolved on January 15. 220-00. 2000. the DOJ is by no means concluded by the respondent judge’s findings as regards the existence. that the core issue here is the validity of the warrant which applicant secured on the basis of.52 It is apropos to point out at this juncture that petitioners have imputed on individual private respondents criminal liability. There can be no quibbling that individual private respondents stand to be prejudiced or at least be inconvenient by any judgment in any case based on the seized properties. and (b) whether or not IFPI’s board of directors ratified its conditional authorization for its attorneyin-fact to represent IFPI in this petition. Given the foregoing perspective. It must be stressed in this regard. to a point. the issuance of Search Warrant No. of a crime. accord merit to petitioners’ lament that the basis of the first questioned order. R. in determining probable cause for issuing or quashing a search warrant. in fact. instead of by SLC. in the end.S. This Court. 219-00 was. Petitioners would have the Court believe that the second questioned order was based on a ground immaterial to the charge of infringement. predicated on the sworn testimonies of persons without personal knowledge of facts they were testifying on and who relied on a false certification issued by VRB. We can. the peripheral issues of (a) whether or not petitioner IFPI (South East Asia). to shirk from this duty would amount to an abdication of a constitutional obligation. represented throughout the proceedings below by the same counsel of its co-respondents. It may be that a VRB license is no defense to a charge of violating Section 208 of R. The complaint in I. constitute a usurpation of the executive function.S. such error was properly addressed when respondent SLC. convinced to issue the warrants by means of the erroneous VRB certification presented during the joint application hearing. at bottom. they are real parties in interest who ought not to be prevented from assailing the validity of Search Warrant 219-00.
(MANLY).11 As such. may not be faulted for overturning its initial assessment that there was probable cause in view of its inherent power to issue search warrants and to quash the same. G. 9312 is instructive.] In the instant case.this petition continues. The trial court. Hence it filed a petition for certiorari10 before the Court of Appeals which was denied for lack of merit. the copyright of which belonged to Manly Sportswear Mfg. DADODETTE ENTERPRISES AND/OR HERMES SPORTS CENTER.. need not belabor the issue of whether or not petitioners have cavalierly breached the rule on hierarchy of courts. After the judge has issued a warrant. the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED and the temporary restraining order issued on February 19. 2004 resolution4denying reconsideration thereof. Moreover.forum shopping. Costs against petitioners. J. thus further negating the claim that its copyrighted products were original creations.: This petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure assails the July 13. 2003. as here. he is not precluded to subsequently quash the same. In the same manner. MANLY’s certificates of registrations were issued only in 2002. 82936 has been committed. the motion should be filed with the latter. 2004 decision2 of the Court of Appeals3 in CA-G. Br. The trial court also properly quashed the search warrant it earlier issued after finding upon reevaluation of the evidence that no probable cause exists to justify its issuance in the first place.5 After finding reasonable grounds that a violation of Sections 172 and 217 of Republic Act (RA) No. Our ruling in Solid Triangle Sales Corp. the copyrighted products do not appear to be original creations of MANLY and are not among the classes of work enumerated under Section 172 of RA 8293. In this connection. 2004..R. while the Court looks with disfavor on utter disregard of its rules. the trial court granted the motion to quash and declared Search Warrant No. the trial court denied9 MANLY’s motion for reconsideration. No. Salcedo of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) applied for a search warrant before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City. Judge Estrella T.R. 2005 MANLY SPORTWEAR MANUFACTURING. 4044(03) null and void based on its finding that the copyrighted products of MANLY do not appear to be original creations and were being manufactured and distributed by different companies locally and abroad under various brands. As ruled by the trial court. We deny the petition. The facts are as follows: On March 14. 165306 September 20. if he finds upon reevaluation of the evidence that no probable cause exists.54 it is within its power to suspend its own rules or to except a particular case from its operation whenever the ends of justice so requires. Suffice it to state that. and therefore unqualified for protection under Section 172 of RA 8293. Sheriff.C. the power to quash the same also rests solely with them. based on the information that Dadodette Enterprises and/or Hermes Sports Center were in possession of goods. Q. 2003. 2003 is consequently RECALLED. having taken cognizance of this petition. 4044(03). whereas there were certificates of registrations for the same sports articles which were issued earlier than MANLY’s. The appellate court found that the trial court correctly granted the motion to quash and that its ruling in the ancillary proceeding did not preempt the findings of the intellectual property court as it did not resolve with finality the status or character of the seized items. this Court. in which case. this Court has ruled that the motion to quash should be filed in the court that issued the warrant unless a criminal case has already been instituted in another court. 79887 and its September 15. SP No. 2003 Search Warrant No. Estrada of RTC-Quezon City. After denial of its motion for reconsideration on September 15. issued on March 17. They insisted that the sporting goods manufactured by and/or registered in the name of MANLY are ordinary and common hence. No
. Special Investigator Eliezer P. MANLY filed the instant petition for review on certiorari raising the sole issue of whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in finding that the trial court did not gravely abuse its discretion in declaring in the hearing for the quashal of the search warrant that the copyrighted products of MANLY are not original creations subject to the protection of RA 8293.. thus. vs. SO ORDERED. v. Respondent. DECISION
On June 10. had duly executed the sworn certification on non.8 On August 11. 2003. not among the classes of work protected under Section 172 of RA 8293. Inc.
YNARES-SANTIAGO. INC.7 Respondents thereafter moved to quash and annul the search warrant contending that the same is invalid since the requisites for its issuance have not been complied with. The ruling has since been incorporated in Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure[.
The power to issue search warrants is exclusively vested with the trial judges in the exercise of their judicial function. thus: Inherent in the courts’ power to issue search warrants is the power to quash warrants already issued. WHEREFORE. RTC. Petitioners. we find that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it entertained the motion to quash considering that no criminal action has yet been instituted when it was filed. Branch 83.
It is not a conclusive proof of copyright ownership. It is merely the first step in the process to determine the character and title of the property. HON. et al. BENNIE NICDAO. As correctly observed by the Court of Appeals. and prosecuted. Presiding Judge. Such an order does not ascertain and adjudicate the permanent status or character of the seized property. no presumption of validity is created where other evidence exist that may cast doubt on the copyright validity. including neighboring rights. Indeed. 2004. DECISION
. are AFFIRMED.. 2006 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. This is because in the determination of the existence of probable cause for the issuance or quashal of a warrant. MANLY’s assertion that the trial court’s order quashing the warrant preempted the finding of the intellectual property court has no legal basis. to the court. In so doing. Hence. Q. if so. 2 Effects of Registration and Deposit of Work. SO ORDERED. Economic Intelligence & Investigation Bureau.. MANLY could still file a separate copyright infringement suit against the respondents because the order for the issuance or quashal of a warrant is not res judicata... as petitioners would like to believe. The registration and deposit of the work is purely for recording the date of registration and deposit of the work and shall not be conclusive as to copyright ownership or the term of the copyrights or the rights of the copyright owner. LOURDES F. where there is sufficient proof that the copyrighted products are not original creations but are readily available in the market under various brands. Hence. or. to allow the aggrieved party the chance to convince the court that its ruling is erroneous. 93:13 When the court. Sr. However. in an ancillary proceeding. with like effect. it does not usurp the power of. 2004 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. CHRISTOPHER CHOI. This does not.15 that: The RTC had jurisdiction to delve into and resolve the issue whether the petitioner’s utility models are copyrightable and. to shirk from this duty would amount to an abdication of a constitutional obligation. such a criminal action should be prosecuted. it does not interfere with or encroach upon the proceedings in the preliminary investigation. GATBALITE. Respondent. That determination is done in the criminal action involving the crime or crimes in connection with which the search warrant was issued. RTC. Moreover. in accordance with Section 4. as in this case. interlocutory. Salinas. Branch 56. Special Operative Group. v.C. G. Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure[. Besides. As pertinently held in Solid Triangle Sales Corp. As it is. 79887 and resolution dated September 15. vs. By its very nature.objection may be validly posed to an order quashing a warrant already issued as the court must be provided with the opportunity to correct itself of an error unwittingly committed. validity and originality will not be presumed and the trial court may properly quash the issued warrant for lack of probable cause.. whether he is the owner of a copyright over the said models. The outcome of the criminal action will dictate the disposition of the seized property… We have also ruled in Ching v. no copyright accrues in favor of MANLY despite issuance of the certificates of registration and deposit16pursuant to Section 2. Petitioners. The finding by the court that no crime exists does not preclude the authorized officer conducting the preliminary investigation from making his own determination that a crime has been committed and that probable cause exists for purposes of filing the information. . the certificates of registration and deposit issued by the National Library and the Supreme Court Library serve merely as a notice of recording and registration of the work but do not confer any right or title upon the registered copyright owner or automatically put his work under the protective mantle of the copyright law. Angeles City and ATTY. the petition is DENIED. Thus. the RTC was duty-bound to determine whether probable cause existed. it is inevitable that the court may touch on issues properly threshed out in a regular proceeding. SP No. or commenced if not yet
instituted. the trial court’s finding that the seized products are not copyrightable was merely preliminary as it did not finally and permanently adjudicate on the status and character of the seized items. in Vlasons Enterprises Corporation v. No. the copyright certificates issued in favor of MANLY constitute merely prima facie evidence of validity and ownership. It bears stressing that upon the filing of the application for search warrant. finds that no offense has been committed. constitute a usurpation of the executive function. Br. usually constructive. Sheriff. Rule 7 of the Copyrights Safeguards and Regulations17 which states: Sec. it is provisional. At most. much less preclude. that the copyrighted products of petitioner are not original creations. Court of Appeals14 we held that: The proceeding for the seizure of property in virtue of a search warrant does not end with the actual taking of the property by the proper officers and its delivery.R. Consequently.. the trial court was acting within bounds when it ruled.18 WHEREFORE.] Further. The court does not oblige the investigating officer not to file an information for the court’s ruling that no crime exists is only for purposes of issuing or quashing the warrant. in determining probable cause for issuing or quashing a search warrant. Regional Trial Court. The July 13. the court from making a final judicial determination of the issues in a fullblown trial. Special Prosecutor. The order for the issuance of the warrant is not a final one and cannot constitute res judicata.R. . 152950 August 3. non-registration and deposit of the work within the prescribed period only makes the copyright owner liable to pay a fine.
after examining under oath in the form of searching and probing questions. Economic Intelligence Investigation Bureau. Branch 56. Philippines. in determining whether there was probable cause to believe that the cigarettes purchased by Nieto were fake and in violation of RA 8293.CORONA. that fake Marlboro cigarettes bought by them from Michael Chua. BENNY NICDAO is prohibited from using in evidence the articles seized by virtue of Search Warrant No. Max Cavalera and David Lee Sealey. Gatbalite issued Search Warrant No. SO ORDERED.
Given under my hand this 27th day of April. 2002 in CA-G. respondent filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition 13 before the CA. 1999. Case No. the color of the box and the printing on the front side of the packs and the cigarettes themselves. Angeles City. if you did anything? A I examined the sample of cigarettes and their packaging bearing the Marlboro Trade Marks which were suspected to be produc[ed] and manufactured by La Suerte or [with] the permission of Philip Morris. J. paragraphs 2 and 3 (a) and (c). as well as cardboard cases of fake Marlboro Red Cigarettes (each cardboard case contains two (2) [m]aster [c]ases of Marlboro and each [m]aster case contains fifty (50) reams) being distributed. You are hereby further directed to submit a return within ten (10) days from today. control and custody [r]eams and packs of fake Marlboro Red Cigarettes. the applicant. Respondent ATTY. what did you do with the said merchandise. 1999. Department of Finance. 2000. On April 27. 1999 at Angeles City. 8 On May 12. Respondent also prayed that Atty. Q After the same had been turned over to you. 11 Reconsideration was likewise denied. Pampanga. Mario Nieto and Max Cavalera. 12 On June 19. kept and sold thereat in violation of Section 168. Mario P. Carmenville Subd. your Honor. your Honor. 1999. Q Do you have any knowledge of this person named Christopher Choi? A None..S. the petition for certiorari and prohibition is GRANTED. 8293. 5 also known as the Intellectual Property Code. According to the CA.: This petition for review on certiorari 1 seeks the reversal of the decision 2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated April 10. Q What was the result of your examination? A Based on the packaging of the packs. 3 The factual antecedents follow. You are hereby commanded to make an immediate search at anytime of the day or night of the above-premises and forthwith seize and take possession of the aforedescribed items found at the residence/warehouse of Christopher Choi at No. the dispositive portion of which read: WHEREFORE. 99-17 dated April 27. Department of Finance. 99-17 is deemed NULLand VOID and SET ASIDE. Intelligence Operative. 2 and 3 (a) and (c) in relation to Section 169 of R. 25-13 Columbia Street. Carmenville Subd. is that correct? A Yes. 16 The examination of Sealey went this way: Court: Q There was testimony here given by Mr. executed by one David Lee Sealey. applied for a search warrant with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City. I concluded that they are counterfeit or unauthorized product[s]. MARIO P. in relation to Section 169 of RA 8293.. seize and bring the said articles to the undersigned to be dealt with in accordance with law. THEREFORE. respondent filed a "motion to quash search warrant" 9 and a "supplemental motion to quash" 10on June 22. Nieto. SP No. Q There is an affidavit here marked as exhibit. Angeles City has in his possession. Christopher Choi and Johnny Chang were turned over to you for examination. This was granted by the CA in a decision dated April 10. 1999 worded as follows: TO ANY PEACE OFFICER: G r e e t i n g s: It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned. 25-13 Columbia Street. 6 After examination of the applicant and his witnesses. Both were denied by Judge Gatbalite in an order dated November 29. 4 against respondent Christopher Choi for violation of Section 168. 15 Judge Gatbalite failed to ask searching and probing questions of witness David Lee Sealey. He alleged that Judge Gatbalite committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing to quash the search warrant. do you know this David Lee Sealey?
. I. 2002. 99-17 in Crim. 59587. 99-8116. Bennie Nicdao14 be prohibited from using as evidence the articles seized by virtue of the search warrant. and his witnesses Max Cavalera and David Lee Sealey that there are good and sufficient reasons to believe that Christopher Choi of No. 7 The search was conducted on the same date. Search Warrant No. 1999. NIETO. par. Intelligence Operative of the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau. No.R.A. arguing that probable cause was not sufficiently established as the examination conducted was not probing and exhaustive and the warrant did not particularly describe the place to be searched. namely. Judge Lourdes F.
not the exacting calibrations of a judge after a full-blown trial. not merely routinary. Examination of complainant. The CA reasoned that this was an absolute requirement under the Supreme Court ruling in20th Century Fox Film Corporation v. the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements. — The judge must. 4. your Honor. in issuing the search warrant. Court: That’s all. peripheral. general. 25 The questions should not merely be repetitious of the averments stated in the affidavits or depositions of the applicant and the witnesses. Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 126 state: Sec. this petition. 30 The entirety of the questions propounded by the court and the answers thereto must be considered by the judge. together with the affidavits submitted. Inc. record. 29 Probable cause is determined in the light of conditions obtaining in a given situation. I am the one. 26 If the judge fails to determine probable cause by personally examining the applicant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions before issuing a search warrant. 19 The People assail the finding of the CA that. 24 The judge must not simply rehash the contents of the affidavit but must make his own inquiry on the intent and justification of the application. 21 We rule for the People of the Philippines. Q Whose signature is this appearing on the printed name David Lee Sealey? A This is my signature. the CA ruled that Judge Gatbalite committed grave abuse of discretion when she merely relied on the conclusion of Sealey that the cigarettes he received from Nieto were fake. your Honor. petitioner judge also heard the testimony of applicant Nieto: Q: In connection with Search Warrant 99-17. perfunctory or proforma. it is axiomatic that the examination must be probing and exhaustive. Probable cause means such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be searched. No formula or fixed rule for its determination exists. are you the same Mario Nieto who is the applicant in this application for search warrant filed today April 27. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. in writing and under oath. 22 The determination of the existence of probable cause requires the following: (1) the judge must examine the complainant and his witnesses personally. Although there is no hard-and-fast rule governing how a judge should conduct his examination. Q: Do you know this Christopher Choi referred to herein? A: Yes. — A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. Q Do you affirm and confirm other contents of this affidavit? A Yes. before issuing the warrant. a search warrant can be issued only upon a finding of probable cause. instead of relying on his testimony alone. She should have at least required Sealey to present the alleged fake Marlboro cigarettes and the genuine ones for comparison. 18 Hence. Q: Why do you know him? A: He was introduced to us by Michael Chua. your Honor. Requisites for issuing search warrant. your Honor. 1999? A: Yes. The People also assert that the CA erred in applying the doctrine in 20th Century Fox Film Corporation20 since it had already been superseded by Columbia Pictures. 17 In addition. 31 In this case.
According to the foregoing provisions. The standards of judgment are those of a reasonably prudent man. Court of Appeals. 23 The searching questions propounded to the applicant and the witnesses depend largely on the discretion of the judge. probable cause is concerned with probability. v. Judge Gatbalite purportedly did not comply strictly with the requirement to determine the existence of probable cause by personally examining the applicant and his witnesses through searching questions and answers. 27 The determination of probable cause does not call for the application of rules and standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits. As the term implies. your Honor. grave abuse of discretion is committed. not absolute or even moral certainty. your Honor. 28 No law or rule states that probable cause requires a specific kind of evidence. aside from the testimony of Sealey. 5.A Yes. Court of Appeals. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. (2) the examination must be under oath and (3) the examination must be reduced in writing in the form of searching questions and answers. Sec. The People of the Philippines aver that the CA erred in finding that Judge Gatbalite committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the search warrant allegedly because she failed to determine probable cause pursuant to Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 126 of the Rules of Court.
your Honor.A. your Honor.. 1999 we conducted a surveillance and we were able to confirm that the said cigarettes are being stored at the subject place. Michael Chua. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Furthermore. he was one of those identified by the informant storing and selling counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes. Q: Subject of the application? A: Yes. Q: Upon arriving at the place what did you do? A: Upon arriving at the place. as correctly pointed out by petitioners. the supposed pronunciamento in said case regarding the necessity for the presentation of the master tapes of the copyrighted films for the validity of search warrants should at most be understood to merely serve as a guidepost in
. xxx xxx xxx In fine. 25-13 Columbia St. in the storage room as shown in the lay out of the house. Q At what place? A At 25-13 Columbia St. 32 Max Cavalera. we cannot say that Judge Gatbalite committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the search warrant. Carmenville Subd. On April 23. 35 the findings of the judge deserve great weight. Q: Where? A: At No. he brought us to his warehouse where he showed to us several cardboard cases of Marlboro cigarettes. a certain Christopher Choi. Court of Appeals: More to the point. the samples that like what we did to the others were inspected by certain Mr. This Christopher Choi? A: I went to his house. insofar as it required the presentation of the master tapes for comparison with the pirated copies for a search warrant to issue.. a witness who accompanied Nieto during the "test-buy" operation.Q: As what? A: As the supplier for the goods. Q: You went to the warehouse?
A: We were shown [the] entire area by the supplier. P17. Choi had been convinced of our intention to buy cigarettes from him. the representative and authority from the Philip Morris. Christopher Choi and I submitted them to Mr. your Honor. they are almost everywhere in the house of Christopher Choi. can you point it out here? A: Yes. Mr. Q: Where did you see him. Q: There is a sketch here attached to your application. [A]fter Mr. Michael Chua told me that the bulk of supply if we need more supply we can get from the source. Christopher Choi. Angeles City. Angeles City. it is adjacent to the residential house as shown in the sketch. Q: Do you know from what particular place the house of Christopher Choi did he got (sic) those samples? A: The volume stocks were found inside the house. your Honor. David Lee Sealey. Q: How did you know him? A: When I was conducting a test-buy operation against Mr. I got the samples form Mr. your Honor. The reviewing court can overturn such findings only upon proof that the judge disregarded the facts before him or ignored the clear dictates of reason.00 per pack.. not at all superficial and perfunctory. it is felt that the reasonableness of the added requirement in 20th Century Fox calling for the production of the master tapes of the copyrighted films for determination of probable cause in copyright infringement cases needs revisiting and clarification. Pampanga. in violation of Section 169 of R. I introduced myself as the one who was referred by a certain Michael Chua who is interested in buying the Marlboro cigarettes from him and he accommodated me and showed me the sample that he has and I was able to procure the samples from him.. 36 We thus find no reason to disturb Judge Gatbalite’s findings. Q: How many Marlboro cigarettes did you buy? A: We bought only one ream. Q: Did you actually buy those samples? A: Yes. David Lee Sealey. who lives in the same village and who is actually the supplier for the entire region. 34 Given the foregoing testimonies and applying the established standards in determining probable cause. The testimonies and other evidence on record constituted adequate bases to establish probable cause that the alleged offense had been committed. Carmenville Subd. Her questions were sufficiently probing. Since probable cause is dependent largely on the opinion and findings of the judge who conducted the examination and who had the opportunity to question the applicant and his witnesses.. Mario Nieto and I again went to the subject place to conduct a test-buy operation. As a matter of fact he was trying to show us how much volume he has and his capacity to supply. 1999 at about 8:30 p. 33 also testified: Q How about this Christopher Choi? A As I’ve said earlier. 8293. had already been superseded by Columbia Pictures. so on April 22.m. The testimonies were consistent with each other and the narration of facts was credible. at the warehouse. v. Inc.
Petitioner. as amended. SPO2 de Leon. SPO4 Isagani Ilas. SPO3 Marcelo Alcancia. Trial on the merits ensued. with the merit that in this class of evidence the ascertainment of the controverted fact is made through demonstrations involving the direct use of the senses of the presiding magistrate.
During arraignment. admissions or other classes of evidence tending to prove the factum probandum.) No.m.8 He was later identified as petitioner. It is true that such master tapes are object evidence. otherwise a careless interpretation thereof could unfairly fault the writer with the vice of overstatement and the reader with the fallacy of undue generalization.A. especially where the production in court of object evidence would result in delay.R. custody and control 27. a regulated drug. the presentation of master tapes of the copyrighted films is always necessary to meet the requirement of probable cause and that. in Criminal Case No. composed of Chief Inspector Carlos Acosta. Inc.4
Accordingly. petitioner pleaded not guilty. and we do not believe that the Court intended the statement in 20th Century Fox regarding master tapes as the dictum for all seasons and reasons in infringement cases. SPO3 Dennis Zarcal. The accusatory portion of the Information against petitioner reads: That on or about the 27th day of August. More importantly. SPO2 Sinag presented the search warrant to petitioner. as pronounced by the Court inColumbia Pictures. G. inconvenience or expenses out of proportion to its evidentiary value. SP No. WHEREFORE. SPO2 Sanggalang. [sic] 1996. Makati City. did then and there willfully. 59587 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. SPO2 Manubay. this could not have been contemplated by the framers of the Constitution. xxx xxx xxx It is evidently incorrect to suggest.10 In the presence of petitioner
. CR No. a male person naked from the waist up opened the door. to restrict the exercise of discretion by a judge by adding a particular requirement (the presentation of master tapes. the petition is hereby GRANTED. SPO2 Cecil Fajardo. 37 (emphasis supplied) It is obvious that 20th Century Fox Film Corporation should not be applied to the present case since this involves the offense of unfair competition and not copyright infringement. unlawfully and feloniously have in his possession. the judge’s exercise of discretion should not be unduly restricted by adding a requirement that is not sanctioned by law. as intimated by 20th Century Fox) not provided nor implied in the law for a finding of probable cause is beyond the realm of judicial competence or statesmanship. however. Witnesses5 for the prosecution testified as to the following set of facts: On 27 August 1996. Branch 138. as the ruling in 20th Century Fox may appear to do. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. vs. without being authorized by law. Surely. affirming the Decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Contrary to law. Security Officer Celedonio Punsaran (Punsaran) accompanied the group and they proceeded to Unit 615.R. Article III of Republic Act (R. 9 Upon entry. 2002 in CA-G. Judgment is hereby rendered declaring Search Warrant No. 96-1498. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.: This petition for review seeks the reversal of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 2007
ANDY QUELNAN y QUINO. At their knocking. No. that found Andy Quelnan y Quino3 (petitioner) guilty of violating Section 16. and PO1 Eraldo Lectura. Judicial dicta should always be construed within the factual matrix of their parturition. that in copyright infringement cases. otherwise known as The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. the above-named accused. a team from the Police Assistance and Reaction Against Crime (PARAC) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).. Makati. It serves no purpose but to stultify and constrict the judicious exercise of a court’s prerogatives and to denigrate the judicial duty of determining the existence of probable cause to a mere ministerial or mechanical function. An objective and careful reading of the decision in said case could lead to no other conclusion than that said directive was hardly intended to be a sweeping and inflexible requirement in all or similar copyright infringement cases. Upon arrival. DECISION TINGA.7 At around 3:00 p. 99-17 as VALID. the police operatives searched the unit. there can be no finding of probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant.7458 grams of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu).6 was formed to implement a search warrant issued by the RTC of Manila on 26 August 1996. 166061 July 6. Such auxiliary procedure. SPO2 Mario Magno. 22001 dated 12 November 2004. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated April 10. does not rule out the use of testimonial or documentary evidence.. SPO2 Teodoro Sinag. in the City of Makati. 6425. in the absence thereof.determining the existence of probable cause in copyright infringement cases where there is doubt as to the true nexus between the master tape and the pirated copies. they went directly to the Security Office of said building to seek assistance in serving the warrant. depositions. the team proceeded to the Cityland Condominium in South Superhighway. no law or rule which requires that the existence of probable cause is or should be determined solely by a specific kind of evidence. xxx xxx xxx
SO ORDERED. Respondent.R. J. to repeat. There is. which was composed of a small room with a plywood divider separating the sala from the bedroom.
Another crucial issue arises.and Punsaran. Search Warrant No. NBI Forensic Chemist Loreto F. Bravo issued a certification stating that upon examination. the group started searching the place and eventually found on top of the bedroom table three (3) pieces of transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substances later confirmed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) forensic chemist as shabu. He saw around 15 to 20 armed men who suddenly barged into the room. As he was about to park the car. The officer in charge asked for a certain Bernard Kim and petitioner introduced himself as the owner of the condominium unit. 96-585 FOR: VIOLATION OF R. Petitioner was then handcuffed and brought to the PARAC office. and empty transparent plastic sachets. No infirmity or flaw affecting their credibility exists..19 In convicting petitioner. at around 3:00 p. Manila. the specimen submitted yielded positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride.13 The following day.11 Thereafter. an improvised burner. Makati City Respondent. also stated in court that petitioner resides at Legaspi Tower. There was no evidence of intent to harass the accused. testified that Lee was the actual occupant of Unit 615 at the time petitioner was arrested. The maid told him to wait for Lee inside the room while she went out to buy some refreshments. Two and a half hours later.18 After trial. Fiesta was ordered to get out of the car and the PARAC team searched the vehicle. the group prepared a receipt of the properties seized and an Affidavit of Orderly Search allegedly signed by petitioner in their presence and that of Punsaran.20 On appeal. The police operatives did not find any occupant in the room. Further. 6425 (Dangerous Drug Act 1972)
SEARCH WARRANT TO ANY PEACE OFFICER: GREETINGS: It appearing to the satisfaction of the undersigned under examining under oath PNP SPO4 ISAGANI J. which he leased to Sung Kok Lee (Lee) beginning May 1996. the Court considered that they are public officers and there was no showing that they were motivated by ill-will testimonies or bad faith to falsely testify against the accused. No. The presumption of regularity in the performance of their functions can be fairly applied. SEARCH WARRANT NO.14 He also happens to be the registered owner of Unit 615 of Cityland Condominium in Makati City. he dropped petitioner off at Cityland Condominium between 1:00 and 2:00 p.A. The pieces of evidence gathered by the police operatives were brought to the NBI for examination. Luis Alvarez. modifying however the penalty to be imposed on petitioner in that he shall suffer the indeterminate penalty of six months of arresto mayor as minimum to three (3) years and six (6) months of prision correccional as maximum. these matters may be summarized into two issues for our resolution: whether the search warrant was properly enforced and whether petitioner was validly arrested without warrant.versus BERNARD LIM22 Room 615 Cityland Condominium South Superhighway. Petitioner was then brought to the PARAC office for investigation. 21 Petitioner now seeks the reversal of said judgment. he was brought to the Makati Prosecutor’s Office for inquest and a case was subsequently filed against him. four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional as minimum to four (4)
years. Article III of R.15 On 27 August 1996. the RTC found petitioner guilty and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment of two (2) years. vis-à-vis the conduct of the police operatives enforcing such warrant. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling. petitioner’s driver. petitioner heard somebody knocking at the door and he opened it. In his defense. 2600 Roxas Boulevard. On 27 August 1996. and candid testimonies of the prosecution witnesses: They were all present when the search warrant was implemented at Unit 615 Cityland Condominium. Upon knocking at the door. the group also went to Unit 418 of the same building to serve the warrant and search the place. the Arrest Report and Joint Affidavit of Apprehension were executed by the police operatives leading to the arrest and charging of petitioner for violation of Section 16. That same day.m. Two days later. petitioner testified that he is a resident of 150 Legaspi Tower 300. somebody poked a gun at him and introduced himself as PARAC. Petitioner was also forced to sign some documents at gunpoint. The issue as to whether the search warrant was validly implemented necessitates a review of the tenor of the search warrant. that of the validity of the enforcement of the search warrant as basis for the presence of the police operatives in the Cityland Condominium unit.A. After a while. the trial court relied heavily on the clear. he went back to pick him up. He was released the following day. 96-585 reads: REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES REGIONAL TRIAL COURT NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. petitioner was greeted by the maid. The prosecution proffers that petitioner was caught in flagrante delicto in possession of the subject shabu justifying his warrantless arrest. nine (9) months and ten (10) days of prision correccional as maximum. 6425. They found a gun and brought Fiesta to the DILG. ILAS and his
.m. the administrator of Cityland Condominium. Plaintiff .12 Meanwhile. petitioner went to Unit 615 to collect payment of rental from Lee. Therefore.16 In behalf of petitioner. plastic tubings. weighing scales.17 Celso Fiesta. The police operatives then proceeded to search the house for the next half hour while petitioner was waiting in the sala. His conviction or acquittal rests on the validity of the warrantless arrest. straightforward.
GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND SEAL OF THIS COURT. the police operatives proceeded anyway with the search and his resulting arrest. the fact that he was caught in flagrante delicto necessitated his valid warrantless arrest. Icom radio. and where the name of the owner of the premises sought to be searched is incorrectly inserted in the search warrant. on the contrary. Calculator. the same may be presumed from the fact that the dangerous drug is in the house or place over which the accused has control or dominion. this 26[th] day of August 1996 in Manila. the fact of possession was clearly and convincingly established. the failure to name the owner or occupant of such property in the affidavit and search warrant does not invalidate the warrant. Turning to the second issue. BAYHON Executive Judge. Requisites for issuing search warrant. In every prosecution for the illegal possession of shabu. Philippines. Therefore. plastic tubing. Petitioner contends that this doctrine applies only if the search warrant does not indicate with all certainty the owner or occupant of the premises sought to be searched. the fact that petitioner’s name was not indicated in the search warrant is immaterial. According to him. the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge of the existence and presence of the drug in the place under his control and dominion. 4. 1996 at a time when only the accused was inside the premises. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines.27 The Court of Appeals pointed out that possession necessary for conviction of the offense of possession of controlled substances may be actual or constructive:
. under the law. that there are [sic] reasonable ground to believe that VIOLATION OF R. Exclusive possession or control is not necessary. the following essential elements must be established: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug. On the other hand. and two (2) pieces [of] blank cartridge. it is not a fatal defect if the legal description of the premises to be searched
is otherwise correct so that no discretion is left to the officer making the search as to the place to be searched. as well as the character of the drug. However. Bureau of Internal Revenue.26 For the trial court.25 More importantly. A cursory reading of the search warrant reveals that the police officers were ordered to make an immediate search of the premises mentioned and to seize and take possession of shabu. Cellular phone. petitioner insists that his apprehension cannot be considered in flagrante delicto because he was not in possession of the forbidden drug. the omission of the name of the owner or occupant of such property in the warrant does not invalidate the same. and (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. Manila NOTE: This Search Warrant shall be valid for ten (10) days from date of issue. [No. RTC Branch XXIII. You are commanded to make an immediate search anytime of the day or night of the premises abovementioned and forthwith seize and take possession of the abovementioned MET[H]AMPHETAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE (SHABU) subject of the offense and bring to this Court said drugs and persons to be dealt with as the law may direct. This argument is misplaced. Thus. Furthermore. the subject search warrant indicated with absolute clarity that the person subject thereof is Kim. The fact of possession may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence and any reasonable inference drawn therefrom." While petitioner may not be the person subject of the search. — A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess the drug. or within such premises in the absence of any satisfactory explanation. the Court of Appeals erred in declaring that where a search warrant is issued for the search of specifically described premises and not of a person. You are further directed to submit return within ten (10) days from today.23 Petitioner assails the improper enforcement of the search warrant in that despite the knowledge that petitioner was not the subject of such warrant. constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found. two (2) pieces of weighing scale. Nowhere in said rule or any other provision in the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is it required that the search warrant must name the person who occupies the described premises. Since knowledge by the accused of the existence and character of the drug in the place where he exercises dominion and control is an internal act. In Uy v. WILLIAM M. HON. (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities. Possession. SPO4 Ilas and SPO2 Sinag clearly testified that they were found on top of a table in a room of [sic] Unit 615 in the afternoon of August 27.A. the fact of possession was clearly and convincingly established by the prosecution. they were directed to bring "persons to be dealt with as the law may direct.] 6425 has been committed or is about to be committed and there are good and sufficient reasons to believe that still undetermined Quantity of Met[h]amphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu) has [sic] in his possession and control.7458 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride as well as all paraphernalia seized from the accused consisting of an improvised burner. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused. aluminum foil. but also constructive possession.24 the Court has definitively ruled that where the search warrant is issued for the search of specifically described premises only and not for the search of a person. to wit: SEC. Section 4. Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides for the requisites for the issuance of search warrant. includes not only actual possession. disposable lighters. to wit: Prosecution has presented in Court the three (3) plastic sachet[s] containing 27. empty transparent plastic sachets.witness.
Q: That’s your practice? A: Yes. that he entered the unit he was not able to pay you even the deposit [sic]? A: He paid me just one month. petitioner defends his act by invoking his "long bond of friendship" with Lee which made the former treat Lee’s home like his own. only "indicates extreme familiarity and gives the impression of he being at home" in the premises. barely three (3) months before petitioner was apprehended. in fact. In fact.30 Fifth. Q: What you are saying you entered into a lease contract with a person you do not know during the said month. which was to collect rentals from the latter. whom he barely knew. The maid’s testimony would have corroborated that of petitioner’s.32 Equally doubtful is the existence of the lease contract allegedly executed between petitioner and Lee which purportedly validates the presence of the former in Unit 615. Q: How much is the lease price? A: P6. Second. the shabu was found on top of a table in Unit 615 of Cityland Condominium when and where only petitioner was present inside the premises. Petitioner’s explanation that he went to Lee’s unit to collect rentals and was left by the maid to fend for himself while the latter went out to buy refreshments is highly suspicious. Unit 615 is a studio unit with a divider and a sala.29 In support of the appellate court’s ruling. Q: What you are saying [sic] when he entered the premises of this property he does not paid [sic] anything? A: He just paid for the month of May. the lease agreement is undated
. of which he was the registered owner. As the Solicitor General correctly observed. Q: Is it not a practice[. at the time of entry of the searching team in the subject premises.] your Honor. There was no room with a door to be closed and locked which can prevent petitioner from having free access to the shabu found on the table.Although the shabu was not found by the searching team on his person but in the bedroom of the subject premises. petitioner’s overt act of getting half-naked while opening the door establishes intimate familiarity with and over his surroundings. belied by the testimony of the building administrator which showed that Lee was a mere walk-in applicant and he began renting Unit 615 only on 1 May 1996. appellant is deemed in possession thereof since he was the only person in said premises. Q: Payable monthly? A: At the second week of the month. sir. Witness[. the Solicitor General maintained that petitioner was in constructive possession of the subject shabu by citing several circumstances showing petitioner’s control and dominion over the same. sir. Fourth. affirmed this fact in his earlier testimony that he allowed Lee. such pieces of evidence do not necessarily prove that petitioner did not have access and control over the subject premises. Despite the presentation of the testimonies of Cityland Condominium Administrator Luis Alvarez and other witnesses tending to prove that petitioner is the owner and lessor of Unit 615 and his actual place of residence is in Legaspi Tower. as the trial court correctly concluded. First. sir.] Mr. The Solicitor General stresses that petitioner’s actuation of being naked from the waist up while opening the door to greet visitors is natural only to someone who owns the premises. petitioner was found naked from the waist up by the police operatives upon entering Unit 615. This was. petitioner admitted that he was at the subject premises allegedly to collect rentals from the lessee. however. to occupy the unit with only one month rental deposit: Q: Is it your practice to go personally to that unit to receive the rental? A: Yes. but he promise he does not have any money and to produce later on. Third.] that now lessee should pay the deposit and a few months in advance? A: Yes. Q: For what month was that rental where [sic] you were suppose to collect? A: June and July[. petitioner introduced himself as the owner of the condominium.00. [H]e promised to pay later on.31
Petitioner. When he was found half-naked by police operatives in another person’s house. Q: And you agreed? A: Yes.[sic] Q: Which rental he is going to pay? A: The deposit and the monthly rental.500. Petitioner seeks to justify such act by invoking his "long bond of friendship" with Lee. appellant was half-naked from the waist up which. The maid never came back. Moreover. He further argues that the shabu was allegedly found on top of the table inside the bedroom and not within the immediate location where he was positioned.28 Petitioner counters that he was in all his right to be in the leased premises because he had to collect the rentals due him from his tenant. This Court is convinced that petitioner’s control and dominion over the shabu found on top of the table were sufficiently established by his questionable presence in Unit 615.
] South Superhighway[. xxxx Q: So upon arriving at the 6th floor what did you do.] the appearance of Mr. your Honor.34 Petitioner also testified that the rentals are payable at the second week of each month. PROSECUTOR GARVIDA: Q: Who? A: Andy Quelman. With petitioner seemingly comfortable in moving about the unit. sir.and unnotarized.
Q: Where did you conduct the search? A: At room 615 Cityland Condominium[.] do you recall if there was any occasion if you meet a certain person whose name [was] Andy Quelman? A: Yes. City of Manila. PROSECUTOR GARVIDA: Q: Can you describe[.
A: Yes. A: We are armed with [a] search warrant. Q: What about the upper body?
. 1996. or what did you do? A: We knocked at the door of [R]oom 615. to wit: Q: In connection with your duties then as the member of the PARAC[.
Q: During what occasion did you meet this person? A: During [sic] when we conducted the search of the Cityland Condominium[. Witness[. Q: What time? A: 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon. sir. Andy Quelman when he opened the door? A: He is half[-]naked wearing pants.] Makati City. Q: If this person Andy Quelman is present in this Courtroom[.] Makati City. Even more telling are the testimonies of the police operatives who conducted the search and subsequent arrest of petitioner.] Makati City.33 During cross-examination. Inspector Acosta testified that his team conducted a search on Unit 615 and found petitioner inside the room alone and that the search resulted in the discovery of the shabu. when was this? A: August 27. Q: You said that you conducted a search.] South Superhighway[.] can you point him out in the Court? COURT:
Q: And after the door was opened[.35 His statement is inconsistent with his avowed effort to collect payment in the last week of the month. xxxx Q: By what authority did you conduct your search at room or [U]nit 615 Cityland Condominium[. the building administrator who presented a copy of the lease agreement could not even remember when the contract was executed.] Mr.] South Superhighway[. particularly on 27 August 1996. the shabu and other paraphernalia could not have escaped his vision. Q: Issued by whom? A: The RTC Judge Hon. Q: And what happened next? A: Somebody opened the door.] what did you and your team do next? A: We presented our search warrant. Bayhon. Q: To whom? COURT: Would you know who open[ed] the door?
Will you step down on the witness stand and tap on his shoulder? A: Yes. COURT: Make of record that the witness stepped down on the witness stand and tapped the shoulder of a person seated on the gallery who when asked of his name answered his name as Andy Quelman. We further find the Solicitor General’s conclusion that petitioner was privy to the existence of the shabu on top of the table credible because the unit was a small room with a piece of plywood dividing the sala and the bedroom.
WHEREFORE. vs.R. 154491 November 14. No. QUINTIN J. conduct. 2008
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS. Q: Upon presenting the search warrant[.a. Article III of R. the fact that the shabu was found on top of a table beside the bed which appears to be within sight of petitioner as there was a mere divider between the sala and bedroom. INC. The trial court placed great weight on the testimonies of these police officers and accorded them the presumption of regularity in the performance of their functions. arbitrary. Both the lower courts erred as to the respective penalties they imposed. The factual findings of the trial court especially those which revolve on matters of credibility of witnesses deserve to be respected when no glaring errors bordering on a gross misapprehension of the facts or no speculative. Naga Plant.43 Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law.37 The prosecution of drug cases largely depends on the credibility of the police officers. PHILS. as exhibited by his control and dominion over the shabu found on top of the table. was duly established by the following evidence: his presence in Unit 615 at the time of his arrest. The evaluation of the credibility
of witnesses and their testimonies is best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses' deportment. SO ORDERED.] did you find [sic] during the search? A: We found 3 transparent plastic containing white crystalline substance.k. the RTC was upheld by the Court of Appeals. the penalty to be imposed shall range from prision correccional to reclusion perpetua. and attitude under grilling examination.36 The foregoing testimony was substantially corroborated by SPO4 Isagani Ilas and SPO1 Teodoro Sinag who were both part of the arresting team.A: Naked. J.7458 grams of shabu.. Since petitioner was charged with the possession of 27. Q: Can you enumerate to this Court what[. the police operatives are obligated to apprehend him even without a warrant of arrest. Quelman doing while you are conducting the search? A: He was sitting at the table inside the room. the petitioner is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty ranging from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum.40 his representation to the police that he was the owner of the unit. in this case. GOMEZ. G.:
. the imposable penalty is prision correccional. as amended.38 In this case.] Mr. strongly implying that he had stayed in the house longer than he claimed to be.] what did you do next? A: We proceeded to the room to conduct the search. Section 16. Witness? A: First we proceeded to his room and I saw Mr. "DANNY GALICIA". demeanor. Quelman after you found these items which you [have] just enumerated? A: We bring [sic] Andy Quelman to our office. xxxx Q: You said you proceeded to conduct the search. DECISION BRION. 22001 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION in that petitioner ANDY QUELNAN y QUINO is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum to Three (3) Years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum. to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum. We shall now determine the imposable penalty. petitioner’s unlawful possession. shabu.41 his half-naked state when he opened the door. and unsupported conclusions can be gleaned from such findings. CR No.respondents. 6425.R. a. the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed Court of Appeals Decision in CA-G. These witnesses positively identified petitioner as the occupant of Unit 615 at the time the search was conducted and that he was caught in flagrante delicto when the shabu was found in his constructive possession.A. xxxx Q: What did you do with Mr. petitioner. (CCBPI). "KIT" GOMEZ and DANILO E. [W]hat was Mr.k. In sum. is less than 200 grams. GALICIA. Later on we found at his table all the paraphernalia.] if any[. Petitioner has not convinced this Court of the existence of any of the recognized exceptions39 to the conclusiveness of the findings of fact of the trial and appellate courts.a.421avvphil Having caught petitioner in flagrante delicto. Quelman sitting at his table. Q: Where did you find [sic]? A: Atop the table. provides that if the quantity of the regulated drug involved. a. No. xxxx Q: Now can you describe to this Court how you conducted the search[. and finally.
They contended that no probable cause existed to justify the issuance of the search warrant. the court failed to order the return of the "borrowed" shells. Regaspi said he investigated reports that Pepsi was hoarding large quantities of Coke bottles by requesting their security guard to enter the Pepsi plant and he was informed by the security guard that Pepsi hoarded several Coke bottles. boxes. Gomez. represented by the respondents. (Coca-Cola) accuses Pepsi Cola Products Phils. 2001. issued Search Warrant No. the MTC denied the motion for reconsideration in the second assailed order. 2001. Coca-Cola applied for a search warrant against Pepsi for hoarding Coke empty bottles in Pepsi's yard in Concepcion Grande. MTCC of Naga City dated September 19. and that the ambiguity of the law. (Pepsi). Ocampo of Naga City. are summarized below. which has a penal nature. The respondents responded by filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City on the ground that the subject search warrant was issued without probable cause and that the empty shells were neither mentioned in the warrant nor the objects of the perceived crime. the applicant and its witnesses had no personal knowledge of facts surrounding the hoarding. (Gomez). and 168 Pepsi shells for smaller (eight and 12 ounces) empty Coke bottles. Ocampo III on July 2. also the respondents in this petition.464 Litro and 4. even as it implied that other laws may have been violated by the respondents. after taking the joint deposition of the witnesses. The respondents also filed motions for the return of their shells and to quash the search warrant. must be construed strictly against the State and liberally in their favor. Inc. of hoarding empty Coke bottles in bad faith to discredit its business and to sabotage its operation in Bicolandia. though. CocaCola claimed that the bottles must be confiscated to preclude their illegal use. Coca-Cola submitted the sworn statements of three witnesses: Naga plant representative Arnel John Ponce said he was informed that one of their plant security guards had gained access into the Pepsi compound and had seen empty Coke bottles. 2002. Pepsi security guards Eduardo E.. Phils. 2001 are
. Miral and Rene
Acebuche executed a joint affidavit stating that per their logbook.036 eight and 12 ounces empty Coke bottles. found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the issuing MTC judge. Galicia and Gomez claimed that the bottles came from various Pepsi retailers and wholesalers who included them in their return to make up for shortages of empty Pepsi bottles. the MTC issued the first assailed order6 denying the twin motions. Jr. 2001-02 issued by the Honorable Judge Julian C. 2001. It explained there was an exhaustive examination of the applicant and its witnesses through searching questions and that the Pepsi shells are prima facie evidence that the bottles were placed there by the respondents. On November 14.1 In support of the application. Naga City. 2001 at 4 p. The Orders issued by the Pairing Judge of Br. 205 Pepsi shells for Litro. there is no mention in the IP Code of the crime of possession of empty bottles. 623. Galicia (Galicia) and its Naga general manager Quintin J. Lirio did not visit or enter the plant premises in the afternoon of July 2. THE RTC RULINGS On May 8. 2001 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. the RTC voided the warrant for lack of probable cause and the non-commission of the crime of unfair competition. THE MTC RULINGS On September 19. destruction or concealment by the respondents. 2001. the facts charged do not constitute an offense. Ponce and Regaspi's statements are hearsay as they had no personal knowledge of the alleged crime.500 Litro and 3. It insisted that the issuance of warrant was based on probable cause for unfair competition under the IP Code. Coca-Cola opposed the motions as the shells were part of the evidence of the crime. 2001-013 to seize 2.8Thus. as prayed for.. Search Warrant No. the warrant was issued based on hearsay evidence. as culled from the records.000 eight and 12 ounces empty Coke bottles at Pepsi's Naga yard for violation of Section 168. In their counter-affidavits. security guard Edwin Lirio stated that he entered Pepsi's yard on July 2. the respondents argued for the quashal of the warrant as the MTC did not conduct a probing and exhaustive examination. Accordingly. the law regulating the use of stamped or marked bottles. and their Naga plant was in urgent need of the shells. On July 2. and later filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Naga a complaint against two Pepsi officers for violation of Section 168.7explaining that the issue of whether there was unfair competition can only be resolved during trial. an act allegedly penalized as unfair competition under the IP Code. In their motion for reconsideration. acting plant security officer Ylano A. Inc. The RTC. 2001 and November 14. arguing that Pepsi used the shells in hoarding the bottles.2 Municipal Trial Court (MTC) Executive Judge Julian C. they had no way of ascertaining beforehand the return of empty Coke bottles as they simply received what had been delivered. petitioner Coca-Cola Bottlers. 1. BACKGROUND The facts.4 The local police seized and brought to the MTC's custody 2. were Pepsi regional sales managerDanilo E.5The named respondents.m. Republic Act No.Is the hoarding of a competitor's product containers punishable as unfair competition under the Intellectual Property Code (IP Code. and other similar containers. and that the respondents violated R.A. and the seizure of the shells was illegal because they were not included in the warrant. there was no crime involved.3 (c) in relation to Section 170 of the IP Code.3 (c) of the IP Code. the presence of the bottles in their yard was not intentional nor deliberate. and saw empty Coke bottles inside Pepsi shells or cases. 8293) that would entitle the aggrieved party to a search warrant against the hoarder? This is the issue we grapple with in this petition for review oncertiorari involving two rival multinational softdrink giants.
but at the same time nullified the issued warrant. the substantive issue of whether the application for search warrant effectively charged an offense. a violation of Section 168. the petitioner stressed that the decision of the RTC was contradictory because it absolved Judge Ocampo of grave abuse of discretion in issuing the search warrant. Section 6. No costs. The petitioner further argues that the IP Code was enacted into law to remedy various forms of unfair competition accompanying globalization as well as to replace the inutile provision of unfair competition under Article 189 of the Revised Penal Code. satisfactory and convincing evidence is essential to hold them guilty of unfair competition. he shall issue the warrant. The judge must. The hoarding does not make them liable for unfair competition as there was no deception or fraud on the end-users. and that hoarding of large quantities of a competitor's empty bottles is necessarily characterized by bad faith. OUR RULING We resolve to deny the petition for lack of merit. as the acts penalized must always involve fraud and deceit. the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with the affidavits submitted. THE ISSUE Based on the parties' positions. SO ORDERED. The empty bottles were concealed in Pepsi shells to prevent discovery while they were systematically being destroyed to hamper the petitioner's bottling operation and to undermine the capability of its bottling operations in Bicol. We clarify at the outset that while we agree with the RTC decision. the petition raises questions against the RTC's nullification of the warrant when it found no grave abuse of discretion committed by the issuing judge. i. the alleged criminal acts do not show conduct aimed at deceiving the public.. The MTC should have dismissed the petition when it found out that Judge Ocampo did not commit any grave abuse of discretion. Section 168. Bypassing the Court of Appeals. business or services of another. the petitioner asks us through this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to reverse the decision of the RTC. the hoarding of empty Coke bottles did not cause actual or probable deception and confusion on the part of the general public.e.3 (c) of the IP Code. he gravely erred and abused his discretion when he ignored the rule on the need of sufficient evidence to establish probable cause. there was no attempt to use the empty bottles or pass them off as the respondents' goods. 2002.
The respondents also argue that the IP Code does not criminalize bottle hoarding. Essentially. which the RTC denied on July 12. If the judge is satisfied of the existence of facts upon which the application is based or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist. Requisites for issuing search warrant. which must be substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. A search warrant shall not issue except uponprobable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. The City Prosecutor of Naga City and SPO1 Ernesto Paredes are directed to return to the Petitioner the properties seized by virtue of Search Warrant No. THE PETITION and THE PARTIES' POSITIONS In its petition. namely. The petitioner also argues that the quashal of the search warrant was improper because it complied with all the essential requisites of a valid warrant. It claims that its Bicol bottling operation was prejudiced by the respondents' hoarding and destruction of its empty bottles.3 (c) of the IP Code. our agreement is more in the result than in the reasons that supported it. and the procedural issue of whether the MTC observed the procedures required by the Rules of Court in the issuance of search warrants. 2001-01 for the seizure of the empty Coke bottles from Pepsi's yard for probable violation of Section 168. in writing and under oath. 2001-02. The issuance of a search warrant10 against a personal property11 is governed by Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Court whose relevant sections state: Section 4. The decision is correct in nullifying the search warrant because it was issued on an invalid substantive basis .3(c) of the IP Code does not limit the scope of protection on the particular acts enumerated as it expands the meaning of unfair competition to include "other acts contrary to good faith of a nature calculated to discredit the goods.3 (c) of the IP Code. the petitioner insists the RTC should have dismissed the respondents' petition for certiorari because it found no grave abuse of discretion by the MTC in issuing the search warrant. Examination of complainant.also declared VOID and SET ASIDE." The inherent element of unfair competition is fraud or deceit.9 In a motion for reconsideration. [Emphasis supplied]
. Issuance and form of search warrant. we deny the present petition. before issuing the warrant. For this reason. The respondents counter-argue that although Judge Ocampo conducted his own examination.the acts imputed on the respondents do not violate Section 168. record. Section 5. the basic issue submitted to us for resolution is whether the Naga MTC was correct in issuing Search Warrant No. This basic issue involves two sub-issues.personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers.
if issued. Section 168 in its entirety states: SECTION 168. or the devices or words thereon.A. Probable cause requires facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and the objects sought in connection with that offense are in the place to be searched. (b) Any person who by any artifice. a search warrant may be issued only if there is probable cause in connection with a specific offense alleged in an application based on the personal knowledge of the applicant and his or her witnesses. shall be guilty of unfair competition. We paraphrase these requirements to stress that they have substantive and procedural aspects. 168. must particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized. Any person who shall employ deception or any other means contrary to good faith by which he shall pass off the goods manufactured by him or in which he deals. the determination of probable cause is a personal task of the judge before whom the application for search warrant is filed. No.2. 157 and 161 shall apply mutatis mutandis. The warrant. as he has to examine under oath or affirmation the applicant and his or her witnesses in the form of "searching questions and answers" in writing and under oath. It therefore resolved to nullify the warrant. Unfair Competition. In the context of the present case. the following shall be deemed guilty of unfair competition: (a) Any person. No. must constitute an offense and that these acts are imputable to an offender in relation with whom a search warrant is applied for.A. In particular. (Sec.A. 29. Rights. 168. has a property right in the goodwill of the said goods. No. "Unfair competition. The remedies provided by Sections 156. A person who has identified in the mind of the public the goods he manufactures or deals in. and shall be subject to an action therefor. Jurisprudence teaches us that probable cause. the question is whether the act charged . we so rule as the discussions below will show. it approved of the way the MTC handled the procedural aspects of the issuance of the search warrant but found its action on the substantive aspect wanting. either as to the goods themselves or in the wrapping of the packages in which they are contained. 168. The RTC's error. and without in any way limiting the scope of protection against unfair competition. or who otherwise clothes the goods with such appearance as shall deceive the public and defraud another of his legitimate trade. 166a) The petitioner theorizes that the above section does not limit the scope of protection on the particular acts enumerated as it expands the meaning of unfair competition to include "other acts contrary to good faith of a nature calculated to discredit the goods.3 (c) of the IP Code.1. is in the form rather than the substance of the decision as the nullification of the issued warrant for the reason the RTC gave was equivalent to the declaration that grave abuse of discretion was committed. treated them separately.4. other than the actual manufacturer or dealer. the respondents' hoarding of Coca Cola empty bottles is one such act. without however expressly declaring that the MTC gravely abused its discretion when it issued the warrant applied for. however. Apparently. and Articles 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code. or who employs any other means calculated to induce the false belief that such person is offering the services of another who has identified such services in the mind of the public." previously defined in Philippine jurisprudence in relation with R. which would be likely to influence purchasers to believe that the goods offered are those of a manufacturer or dealer. as a condition for the issuance of a search warrant. business or services of another. who is selling his goods and gives them the general appearance of goods of another manufacturer or dealer.constitutes an offense under Section 168. 165 and R. business or services so identified. In fact. in the first place. or (c) Any person who shall make any false statement in the course of trade or who shall commit any other act contrary to good faith of a nature calculated to discredit the goods.R. taken together. hence. which will be protected in the same manner as other property rights.3." Allegedly. the RTC recognized this dual nature of the requirements and. In other words. is now covered by Section 168 of the IP Code as this Code has expressly repealed R.
. We do not agree with the petitioner's expansive interpretation of Section 168.12Implicit in this statement is the recognition that an underlying offense must.To paraphrase this rule. his business or services from those of others. or his business. Regulation and Remedies. whether or not a registered mark is employed.A.3 (c). or who shall commit any acts calculated
to produce said result. exist. business or services of another. or services for those of the one having established such goodwill. Procedurally. the acts alleged. or device. This is the substantive requirement in the issuance of a search warrant. 166 and Articles 188 and 189 of the Revised Penal Code.alleged to be hoarding of empty Coke bottles . or in any other feature of their appearance. No. 168. or any subsequent vendor of such goods or any agent of any vendor engaged in selling such goods with a like purpose. 166. is such reasons supported by facts and circumstances as will warrant a cautious man in the belief that his action and the means taken in prosecuting it are legally just and proper.
What unfair competition is. the coverage and intent of the Code is expressly reflected in its "Declaration of State Policy" which states: Section 2. Section 168. This. It shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists. Under this phrase. licensing. but to the terms of Section 168 in particular. passing off and fraud upon the public are still the key elements that must be present for unfair competition to exist. according to the petitioner. ." Part of these particulars is provided under Section 168. Separately from these tests is the application of the principles of statutory construction giving particular attention. if true. Hoarding as defined by the petitioner is not even an act within the contemplation of the IP Code.15 As basis for this interpretative analysis. unfair competition has been defined as the passing off (or palming off) or attempting to pass off upon the public the goods or business of one person as the goods or business of another with the end and probable effect of deceiving the public.2. to the inducement of belief that his or her goods or services are that of another who has earned
.3 (c) is hoarding which we gather to be the collection of the petitioner's empty bottles so that they can be withdrawn from circulation and thus impede the circulation of the petitioner's bottled products.1 and 168. for such periods as provided in this Act.1 speaks of a person who has earned goodwill with respect to his goods and services and who is entitled to protection under the Code. copyrights. The use of intellectual property bears a social function. The critical question. refers to the specific instances of unfair competition.2. c) Geographic Indications. its correct construction may be made clear and specific by considering the company of words in which it is found or with which it is associated.3 (c) is to determine if the hoarding. however. and the protection and infringement of the intellectual properties that these protective measures embody). as charged. we note that Section 168. facilitates transfer of technology. attracts foreign investments. e) Patents. is not the intrinsic unfairness of the act of hoarding. as quoted above. is whether it falls under the general "unfair competition" concept and definition under Sections 168. with or without a registered mark. trademarks. the intent to deceive must be shown before the right to recover can exist. To this end. particularly when beneficial to the people. on the other hand. trademarks and copyright. A second test. with Section 168. the State shall promote the diffusion of knowledge and information for the promotion of national development and progress and the common good. provide the concept and general rule on the definition of unfair competition." From jurisprudence. or any other act calculated to produce the same result. and ensures market access for our products. it covers only acts characterized by "deception or any other means contrary to good faith" in the passing off of goods and services as those of another who has established goodwill in relation with these goods or services.3 when it provides specifics of what unfair competition is "without in any way limiting the scope of protection against unfair competition. if a disputed matter does not expressly refer to an intellectual property right as defined above. not so much to the focus of the IP Code generally. Under the principle of "noscitur a sociis.2. is indeed an unfair act on the part of the respondents.14 The advent of the IP Code has not significantly changed these rulings as they are fully in accord with what Section 168 of the Code in its entirety provides.1 and 168. The petitioner's cited basis is a provision of the IP Code. is an act contrary to good faith .3(c) which provides the general "catch-all" phrase that the petitioner cites. business or services of another. b) Trademarks and Service Marks. The question then is whether there is "deception" or any other similar act in "passing off" of goods or services to be those of another who enjoys established goodwill. service marks.The State recognizes that an effective intellectual and
industrial property system is vital to the development of domestic and creative activity. We hold that it is not. to liberalize the registration on the transfer of technology. It formulated the "true test" of unfair competition: whether the acts of defendant are such as are calculated to deceive the ordinary buyer making his purchases under the ordinary conditions which prevail in the particular trade to which the controversy relates.a conclusion that. a person shall be guilty of unfair competition "who shall commit any other act contrary to good faith of a nature calculated to discredit the goods." when a particular word or phrase is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings. and g)Protection of Undisclosed Information. Section 168. business or services" of the petitioner. "is of a nature calculated to discredit the goods.intellectual property. (n) "Intellectual property rights" have furthermore been defined under Section 4 of the Code to consist of: a) Copyright and Related Rights.3. Aside from the IP Code's actual substantive contents (which relate specifically to patents. Given the IP Code's specific focus. inventors. Deception.1 referring to the sale of goods given the appearance of the goods of another. what is critical for purposes of Section 168.Articles 168. is further particularized under Section 168. artists and other gifted citizensto their intellectual property and creations.13 One of the essential requisites in an action to restrain unfair competition is proof of fraud. trade names. Declaration of State Policy. If it does not. The act alleged to violate the petitioner's rights under Section 168. f) Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits. The law does not thereby cover every unfair act committed in the course of business. and to enhance the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Philippines. d) IndustrialDesigns. It is also the policy of the State to streamline administrative procedures of registering patents. then coverage by the Code may be negated.2 of the Code. a first test that should be made when a question arises on whether a matter is covered by the Code is to ask if it refers to an intellectual property as defined in the Code. a set of rules that refer to a very specific subject . refers to the general definition of unfair competition. as previously discussed. Section 168.
or barrels. to wit: SECTION 1. made applicable by law or regulation to the issuance of trademarks. the search warrant does not even begin to fulfill these stringent requirements and is therefore defective on its face. without the written consent of the manufacturer. and other similar containers . to have specific reference to a special type of registrants . Service Marks and Trade Names.a matter that escapes the IP Code's generalities unless linked with the concepts of "deception" and "passing off" as discussed above. the Rules of Court requires a finding of probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. boxes. or other marks of ownership stamped or marked thereon. kegs. we conclude that the RTC correctly ruled that the petitioner's search warrant should properly be quashed for the petitioner's failure to show that the acts imputed to the respondents do not violate the cited offense. mineral or aerated waters. or barrels. Accordingly. bottling or selling of soda water. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized.16 Based on the foregoing. Branch 1. 2010
. No. bottlers or sellers of soda water. Since the assailed search warrant is null and void. This conclusion renders unnecessary any further discussion on whether the search warrant application properly alleged that the imputed act of holding Coke empties was in fact a "hoarding" in bad faith aimed to prejudice the petitioner's operations. we confirm that Search Warrant No. It shall be unlawful for any person. the Act appears to be a measure that may overlap or be affected by the provisions of Part II of the IP Code on "The Law on Trademarks. In this sense. with their names or the names of their principals or products. or other lawful beverages in bottles. intruded into or used without proper authority from the petitioner. The petitioner in fact could not have cited it in its search warrant application since the "one specific offense" that the law allows and which the petitioner used was Section 168. hoarding inflicts unfairness by seeking to limit the opposition's sales by depriving it of the bottles it can use for these sales. kegs. compared with the general terms and application
of the IP Code. The respondents are not also alleged to be undertaking any representation or misrepresentation that would confuse or tend to confuse the goods of the petitioner with those of the respondents. the Act is not the law in issue in the present case and one that the parties did not consider at all in the search warrant application. milk. we conclude that the "hoarding" . WHEREFORE.3 (c). G. to the concepts it embodies and to the acts it regulates. Justice Bellosillo is particularly instructive: In the issuance of search warrants. cream. bottler or seller who has successfully registered the marks of ownership in accordance with the provisions of the next preceding section. Any violation of this section shall be punished by a fine or not more than one hundred pesos or imprisonment of not more than thirty days or both. and regulations. 623 . boxes. or whether the MTC duly complied with the procedural requirements for the issuance of a search warrant under Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. cream. dispose of. The nullity of the warrant renders moot and academic the other issues raised in petitioners' Motion to Quash and Motion for Reconsideration. 174570 February 22. under its Section 2. trademark. Nor are the respondents alleged to be fraudulently "passing off" their products or services as those of the petitioner. milk. kegs. as in this case. too. it is to show that the underlying factual situation of the present case is in fact covered by another law. to fill such bottles. No. or traffic in. for the purpose of sale.3 being a "catch all" clause whose coverage the parties now dispute. it is in fact a law of specific coverage and application. cider. it speaks specifically of unlawful use of containers and even of the unlawfulness of their wanton destruction . Viewed in this light. It does not relate to any patent.goodwill. Where. whether filled or not. If it serves any purpose at all in our discussions. SECTION 2. As its coverage is defined under Section 1. casks.does not fall within the coverage of the IP Code and of Section 168 in particular. as alleged. the ruling of this Court penned by Mr. or other lawful beverages in bottles. casks. while the disputed Section 168." What is certain is that the IP Code has not expressly repealed this Act. Under all the above approaches. rules.the manufacturers. Thus. issued by the Municipal Trial Court. may register with the Philippine Patent Office a description of the names or are used by them. Unfortunately. There could not have been any probable cause to support the issuance of a search warrant because no crime in the first place was effectively charged. SO ORDERED. buy. not by the IP Code that the petitioner cites. all property seized by virtue thereof should be returned to petitioners in accordance with established jurisprudence. we hereby DENY the petition for lack of merit. and other similar containers. hoarding for purposes of destruction is closer to what another law . barrels. since there is no crime to speak of. or to sell. Naga City. or to use the same for drinking vessels or glasses or for any other purpose than that registered by the manufacturer. Costs against the petitioner.covers.as defined and charged by the petitioner . the lack of probable cause to support the disputed search warrant at once becomes apparent. cider. 2001-01. bottler or seller. the imputed acts do not violate the cited offense. What in fact the petitioner alleges is an act foreign to the Code.who are given special protection with respect to the containers they use.A. In this light. boxes. or wantonly destroy the same. or other similar containers so marked or stamped. Persons engaged or licensed to engage in the manufacture. trade name or service mark that the respondents have invaded.R. or vice versa.R. is NULL and VOID. The Act appears. under the same conditions. mineral or aerated waters. Hence.
vs. committed as follows: That on or about April 15. SP No. Under Search Warrant No. INC.00 from the vault. take rob and carry away cash in the amount of P6. premises considered. SY CHIM. Pinpin.00 issued by several customers payable to Guan Yiak Hardware. nor any other plain. a television set. an Information3 for the crime of Robbery was filed against respondents Sy Tiong Gue. 2006. Binondo.00 more or less. Philippines. and. 2006 denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. in the city of Manila. Manila. SY YU SHIONG.325. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law from the assailed Orders. The applications were later docketed as Search Warrant Case Nos.00 cash. Madronio. Sy Yu Siong. respondents filed a Petition for Certiorari15 under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the CA arguing that: I.500. Respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration. the enforcement of Search Warrant No. 286 postdated checks with total face value of P4. P/Insp. the RTC issued an Order12 denying the motion.) Edgar A. P/Insp. The respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when he refused to quash the subject search warrants. There is no appeal. 2003. Tan.000. 286 postdated checks. The antecedents are as follows: On January 11. 03-3611 and 03-3612 and raffled off to Branch 7.000. Binondo. did then and there willfully. Aggrieved. FELICIDAD CHAN SY. were seized. The assailed orders of the respondent court in Search Warrant Case Nos. conspiring and confederating together and helping one another. SY TIONG GUE.7 On April 22.10 which petitioner opposed. Sy Yu San. Five (5) boxes of Hennessy XO Cognac valued at P240. In support of the applications. 81389 and the Resolution2 dated August 18. Lanzanas posed searching questions to the applicant and his witnesses to determine if probable cause existed to justify the issuance of the search warrants. Reyes submitted the sworn statements of petitioner Romer Sy Tan5 and witnesses Maricho Sabelita6 and Anicita Almedilla.00 more or less belonging to SY SIY HO AND SONS. on April 22. the petition is GRANTED. 2003. Respondents. the CA rendered the assailed Decision. (Guan Yiak Hardware) represented by Romer S. However. 2003. Pinpin. respectively. the Motion to Quash Search Warrant Case Nos. and other documents from the Guan Yiak Hardware. respondents filed a Motion to Quash Search Warrants. the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. 2003. 2005 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. and the 7th floor. Contrary to law. or on April 22. Manila.00 more or less and other papers/documents or all valued at P11.R. Manila for five boxes of Hennessy XO. 03-3611 and 03-3612 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Manila. 524 T. a computer set. Sy Chim. Reyes alleged that he had personal knowledge that respondent Felicidad Chan Sy had in her possession five boxes of Hennessy XO.00 more or less.
or any other agent of the law to take possession of the subject property and bring them before the court. unlawfully and feloniously with intent of gain and by means of violence against or intimidation of persons and force upon things. SO ORDERED. The warrants were later served in the afternoon of April 22. 2005. and PO1 Marvin Sumang for the alleged taking of P6. 2003. Petitioner. Sy Yu Bun.500. presiding Judge Enrico A. Binondo. 03-36118 and 03-3612.00 more or less. Reyes filed two separate applications for the issuance of a search warrant before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).642. SY YU SAN and BRYAN SY LIM. Manila for various checks payable to the Guan Yiak Hardware. if found. Police Officer 1 (PO1) Mamerto J. RTC. 03-3611 and 03-3612 is GRANTED.11 On September 1. five boxes of Hennessy Cognac. notwithstanding the manifest absence of probable cause. Police Inspector (P/Insp. DECISION PERALTA. as well as 286 company checks taken from Guan Yiak Hardware. Computer set valued at P50. 2003. On May 21. Sy Tiong Yan. the said accused. Sy Yu Hui-Pabilona. He prayed that the court issue a search warrant authorizing him
.000. to take possession thereof and bring the same before the court. to the damage and prejudice of the aforesaid owner in the total amount of P11. while being armed with guns.000. speedy. Philippine Currency.ROMER SY TAN.16 On December 29. 2003.135. 03-3612 yielded negative results. Thereafter. Felicidad Chan Sy.: This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari seeking to annul and set aside the Decision1 dated December 29. 2003. and thereafter. J. Judge Lanzanas issued Search Warrant Nos. In the said applications. three boxes containing twelve Hennessy XOs and one box containing seven Hennessy XOs. 03-3611. Bryan Sy Lim.17
Consequently. II.13 but it was denied in the Order14 dated October 28.9 directing any peace officer to make an immediate search of the 8th floor.642. to wit: by forcibly entering the Office of Guan Yiak Hardware located at 453-455 Tomas Pinpin Street.135. Accordingly. 524 T. a television set valued at P20. SY TIONG SAN.000. SY YU BUN.642.
before issuing the warrant. which led the issuing court to determine and conclude that the offense of robbery had been committed by the respondents. The prosecution need not present at this stage reasonable doubt. committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing its orders (annexes "l" and "p") denying respondents’ motion to quash search warrants and motion for reconsideration.20 In Microsoft Corporation v. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines. However.1avvphi1 Section 5. Jurisprudence dictates that probable cause. as a condition for the issuance of a search warrant. Examination of complainant. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. On their part. It added that the description of the items to be seized complied with the requirement of particularity. Petitioner maintains that the RTC issued the search warrants after determining the existence of probable cause based on the Sinumpaang Salaysay of the affiants and the testimonies given by them during the hearing of the applications for search warrant.
.The CA opined that quashing the search warrants for lack of personal knowledge was unwarranted. Probable cause requires facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with that offense are in the place to be searched. Inc. all of which. personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers. Respondents contend that the CA correctly appreciated the numerous statements and admissions of petitioner and his witnesses. the petition assigning the following errors: A The honorable Court of Appeals committed error of law and error of jurisdiction in setting aside the search warrants issued by honorable executive judge enrico a. Issuance and form of search warrant. (3) in the determination of probable cause. is such reasons supported by facts and circumstances as will warrant a cautious man to believe that his action and the means taken in prosecuting it are legally just and proper.21 this Court stressed that: The determination of probable cause does not call for the application of rules and standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits. the CA agreed with the respondents and concluded that there was no probable cause for the issuance of the subject search warrants. under oath or affirmation. Section 6. — If the judge is satisfied of the existence of facts upon which the application is based or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist.18 The issuance of a search warrant is governed by
Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. he shall issue the warrant. The standards of judgment are those of a reasonably prudent man. the complainant and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with the affidavits submitted. respondents’ motion to quash should have been granted by the RTC. Therefore. the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce. lanzanas of rtc 7. the judge must examine. Petitioner argues that there was substantial basis for the findings of facts and circumstances. Hence. We do not agree. Requisites for issuing search warrant. Moreover.. signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer. but it was denied in the assailed Resolution dated August 18. despite lack of showing that honorable executive judge enrico a. record. lanzanas of rtc 7. respondents maintain that the CA’s finding that there was no probable cause for the issuance of the search warrants was in accordance with the facts and the law. commanding him to search for personal property described therein and to bring it before the court. not the exacting calibrations of a judge after a full-blown trial. in writing and under oath. not absolute or even moral certainty. The sole issue to be determined in the instant action is whether or not there was probable cause warranting the issuance by RTC of the subject search warrants. which must be substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules. and although the search warrants sufficiently described the place to be searched and things to be seized. thus. (2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person. "probable cause" is concerned with probability. the validity of the issuance of a search warrant rests upon the following factors: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause. Maxicorp. clearly negate any finding of probable cause for the issuance of the subject search warrants.19 In the case at bar. the CA found the inquiries made by the judge to be sufficiently probing. As implied by the words themselves. the CA concluded that the RTC did not comply with any of the requisites required for the issuance of the subject search warrants. which justified the issuing judge to issue the questioned search warrants. manila. — A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. 2006. B The honorable court of appeals committed error of law and error of jurisdiction in granting the petition for certiorari filed with it by the respondents. manila. — The judge must. The CA ratiocinated that although the RTC judge personally determined if probable cause existed by examining the witnesses through searching questions. taken together. the relevant sections of which provide: Section 4. and (4) the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons or things to be seized. Petitioner insists that there was probable cause. there was no probable cause warranting the issuance of the subject search warrants. We answer in the affirmative A search warrant is an order in writing issued in the name of the People of the Philippines.
R. 7659. SO ORDERED. G. vs.00 in different denominations believed to be proceeds of the contraband.28 This Court finds nothing irregular.
. much less. The Orders of the RTC dated September 1. Act No. 2003 and October 28.27 Apparent in the case at bar and as aptly found by the RTC judge. there was probable cause justifying the issuance of the search warrants. accompanied by five maids. Manila. The Decision and Resolution dated December 29. were sufficient justification for the issuance of the subject search warrants. AMADEO TIRA and CONNIE TIRA.Cash money amounting to P12.Several empty plastics (tea bag) . Article III of Republic Act No. more likely than not.Six (6) pieces opened sachets of shabu residue . 2005 and August 18. needs only to rest on evidence showing that. unlawfully and feloniously have in their possession. SR. which was later brought to the 7th floor of 524 T. appellants. 03-3611 and 03-3612. Its principal office is only to keep the inferior court within the parameters of its jurisdiction. A perusal of the Sinumpaang Salaysay22 and the Transcript of Stenographic Notes23 reveals that Judge Lanzanas. When they entered the premises.: This is an appeal of the Decision1 of the Regional Trial Court of Pangasinan. grave abuse of discretion. Binondo. Branch 46. the guilt of the accused still remains to be determined in the appropriate criminal action against them. which stunned Romer Sy Tan.R. It is to be noted. Pinpin St. committed by the RTC judge in issuing the subject search warrants. 2003 are REINSTATED.Applying these set standards. which would merit the issuance of a search warrant. that while this Court affirms the sufficiency of probable cause in the issuance of the search warrants in connection with the crime of robbery allegedly committed by the respondents. This was established by the Sinumpaang Salaysay and the testimonies. sentencing each of them to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and ordering each of them to pay a fine of P1. Based on the foregoing circumstances. a crime has been committed and that it was committed by the accused. took five boxes of Hennessy XO owned by the Guan Yiak Hardware and brought them to the 8th floor of 524 T. A Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is intended for the correction of errors of jurisdiction only..One (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves weighing 721 grams . in relation to Section 20.24 The power to issue search warrants is exclusively vested in the trial judges in the exercise of their judicial functions. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.2 The Indictment The appellants Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira were charged in an Information which reads: That on or about March 9. Binondo. or to prevent it from committing such grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.Six disposable lighter . 6425. so that he was not able to do anything in the face of the calculated and concerted actions of his grandmother. and her seven companions. 1998. The RTC judge complied with all the procedural and substantive requirements for the issuance of a search warrant. the above-named accused. not in the present case which is limited only to the propriety of the issuance of the subject search warrants by the RTC. 139615 May 28. DECISION CALLEJO. premises considered. J. 2004
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Romer Sy Tan believed that the crime of robbery was committed by the respondents. SP No. control and custody the following: .. consisting of no less than 37 pages. 03-3611 and 03-3612 is SUSTAINED. the petition is GRANTED. Pinpin St. when they were asked by the examining judge.000. This Court is. province of Pangasinan and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. without first securing the necessary permit/license to possess the same. Felicidad Chan Sy was accompanied by two policemen. as amended by Rep.Three (3) (sic) sachets of shabu .000. finding appellants Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 16. was satisfied that there were good reasons to believe that respondents. 81389 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.. No. bound by the RTC judge’s finding of probable cause for issuing Search Warrant Nos. respectively. The facts narrated by the witnesses while under oath.One (1) roll Aluminum Foil .26 The determination of whether probable cause exists as to justify the issuance of a search warrant is best left to the sound discretion of a judge. 2006. in the Municipality of Urdaneta. and that a person named "Yubol" took various checks from the company’s vault. therefore. Felicidad Chan Sy. through searching and probing questions. this Court finds that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC judge in issuing the subject search warrants. appellee.25 A finding of probable cause. did then and there willfully.
WHEREFORE. however. given by witnesses who had personal knowledge of facts indicating that the crime of robbery had been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense were in the place sought to be searched. Manila. known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.536. conspiring together. The validity of Search Warrant Nos.
Convinced that illegal activities were going on in the house. SPO1 Renato M. They introduced themselves and told Ernesto that they had a warrant authorizing them to search the premises. 2. . Drug-Usage Paraphernalia. and 3.10. SPO1 Asterio
Dismaya. Manibog formed a team composed of SPO1 Renato Cresencia.00 coin17 The policemen listed the foregoing items they found in the house. . SPO1 Renato Cresencia and PO2 Reynaldo Soliven Javonilla. A joint affidavit of arrest was. Villaroya. .000.CONTRARY to SEC.00 bill 1 pc. the group. 20 of RA 6425. and the two rooms located at Perez south. particularly the first room on the right side. Cariño. roll aluminum foil 3. arrived at Perez Extension Street. executed by SPO3 Asidelio Manibog.00 bill 1 pc. several empty plastic transparent 4.m. for fear of being identified as PNP members. at the porch of the house. executed an Affidavit of Surveillance. PO3 Reynaldo Javonilla.00 bill 4 pcs. attaching thereto the affidavit of surveillance executed by his men and a sketch of the place to be searched. -P1. the policemen proceeded to search the first room to the right (an inner room) and found the following under the bed where Amadeo slept:14 1. Jr.8 Satisfied with the testimonies of SPO3 Manibog. 9 pcs. P/Supt.536 inside a shoulder bag placed on top of the television. Javonilla. Cresencia and PO3 Reynaldo S. the father of Amadeo. the policemen returned to the station and reported to P/Supt. the team proceeded to the Tira residence. disposable lighters 6. 1 sachet of shabu confiscated from Nelson Tira16 They also found cash money amounting to P12. Ernesto led them inside.3 The Case for the Prosecution4 In the evening of February 24. They confronted one of them. .11 At 2:35 p. clad in civilian clothes. The men found Ernesto Tira.00 bill 53 pcs. Galima. The policemen found the newly awakened Amadeo inside the first room 12 of the house.00 bill 100 pcs. The articles seized were turned over
. Jr. 1998. SPO1 Asterio T.9 P/Sr. Amadeo’s picture was taken while he was signing the said certification. suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride placed in heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets 2. Pangasinan. At around 8:00 p. After hearing their report.20.50. and PO3 Efren Abad de Vera to conduct the ordered surveillance. 1998. PO3 Concepcion. and forthwith seize and take possession of the following items: 1. Inspector Ludivico Bravo..10 They responded and brought Barangay Kagawad Mario Conwi to witness the search. with SPO3 Cariaga. The person revealed that Amadeo Tira sold shabu. they stayed there up to 12:00 midnight and continued observing the place. . . 19987Police Chief Inspector Danilo Bumatay Datu filed an Application for a Search Warrant in the Municipal Trial Court of Urdaneta. and that he was a regular customer.1. 8 in relation to Sec. Jr. but hesitated. Andaya.500. as amended. and asked what was going on inside the house. Weighing scale. The group went closer to the house and started planning their next move. PO3 de Vera.00 bill 52 pcs. Dismaya. Victorio to conduct surveillance operations on the house of Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira at Perez Extension Street because of reported rampant drug activities in the said area. Victorio instructed his men to make an affidavit of surveillance preliminary to an application for a search warrant. Judge Aurora A. used and unused aluminum foil15 5. Instead. in the following denominations: 1 pc.5. Victorio.00 bill 36 pcs. SPO1 Cresencia and PO2 Javonilla. also witnessed the certification.5 On March 6.. on March 9. They wanted to pose as buyers. Poor Man’s Cocaine known as Shabu. SPO1 Mario Tajon.13 With Barangay Kagawad Conwi and Amadeo Tira.100. As they stationed themselves in the periphery of a store. 1998. Jr. PO3 Efren Abad de Vera. SPO3 Asidelio Manibog received a verbal instruction from the Chief of Police Superintendent Wilson R. SPO3 Asidelio Manibog. that they were members of the Drug Enforcement Unit of Urdaneta.m. and PO3 Reynaldo Javonillo were directed to implement the search warrant. for the apprehension of Amadeo Tira and Nelson Tira who were brought to the police station for custodial investigation.18 Ernesto (Amadeo’s father). SPO1 Renato Cresencia. 1998. Wilson R. Tajon. thereafter. Pangasinan. and that in the evening of February 24. they observed that more than twenty persons had gone in and out of the Tira residence. SPO1 Mario C. alleging. inter alia. Gayapa issued a search warrant commanding the applicants to make an immediate search of the Tira residence at anytime of the day or night. they confirmed reports of illegal drug-related activities in the house of the spouses Amadeo and Connie Tira.6 On March 6. . and as head of the team.
Pangasinan. a regulated drug.24 After finding probable cause. Six (6) opened sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (SHABU) residue. The decretal portion of its decision is herein quoted: WHEREFORE. he and the policemen started the search.33 Chris and Gemma were engaged in the buying and selling of bananas. There was also another room which was divided into an outer and
inner room. Javonilla and Bergonia. The policemen arrested him and proceeded to the house of Amadeo Tira to serve the warrant.42 He also testified that his house was only three (3) meters away from that of the Tiras. Act No. He heard a commotion and went out of the room to see what it was all about. Wilson R. He told them to stop searching so that he could contact his father. One of the policemen pointed to a sachet of shabu which fell to the ground near Nelson. One (1) heat-sealed plastic sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride confiscated from the possession of Nelson Tira. He testified that he was a furniture delivery boy30 who owned a one-storey bungalow house with two bedrooms and one master’s bedroom.36 When they reached the house. 1998. who in turn. Three (3) sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride approximately 0. "C" and "D1 to D4" – POSITIVE to the test for marijuana. He denied that there were young men coming in and out of his house.5 grams. would call the barangay captain. Thereafter. He was then pulled inside the room and the policemen showed him the items they allegedly found. Kagawad Conwi and some of the policemen chased the man. and d. b.3 grams of marijuana and 1. CONCLUSION: Specimens A1 to A3. of Republic Act 6425. a prohibited drug. Urdaneta. 1998. Bravo and Ernesto Tira. the PNP Crime Laboratory Group in Physical Science Report No. the court conducted an ocular inspection of the Tira residence. known as [the] Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. Pangasinan for the following: a. in violation of Section 8.34 In the afternoon of March 6.to the PNP Crime Laboratory. shabu. Victorio against Amadeo Tira and Connie Tira on March 10. Twenty-four (4) pieces of dried marijuana leaves sachet. 6425.19 In turn. for examination. Act No. a divider was placed inside the first room. 1998. 6425. Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rufino A. she could not be found in the given address. The report contained the following findings: "A1 to A3. while the second room was occupied by the Spouses Amadeo and Connie Tira. Capt. The policemen continued with their search. The house stood twenty meters away from Perez Extension Street in Urdaneta.37 They searched the first room located at the right side (if facing south). and could be reached only by foot. 1998. in relation to Section 20 of Rep. he was in his house sleeping when the policemen barged into his house. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt accused AMADEO TIRA for Illegal Possession of Marijuana weighing 807.28 The Case for Accused Amadeo Tira29 Amadeo Tira denied the charge.35 Barangay Kagawad Mario Conwi testified that on March 9.40 Alfonso Gallardo. a laboratory examination request was made to the Chief of the Philippine National Police Service1.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. Ludivico Bravo asked to be accompanied to the Tira residence. finding Amadeo Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of 807. Sections 16 and 20. "B1 to B6.22 yielded positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) and marijuana. c. as amended. Urdaneta Sub-Office. DT-057-98 reported that the test conducted by Police Superintendent/Chemist Theresa Ann Bugayong-Cid. searching the room of his nephew. and that only a toilet separated their houses.21 On March 17.27 During the trial. and saw police officers Cresencia. while he was at Calle Perez. He saw Amadeo and Connie Tira sitting by the door of the house in the sala. 1998. which was signed by Capt. Sub-Office. Pangasinan. the policemen saw a man running towards the direction of the ricefields. P/Supt.25 A warrant of arrest was issued against Connie Tira on May 13.26 She was arrested only on October 6. Amadeo’s neighbor. 1998. Ernesto. B1 to B6 and E contain methamphetamine hydrochloride (Shabu) and specimens C and D1 to D24 contain marijuana. 1998.20 On March 10. as amended by
. Wilson R.001 gram penalized under Article III.23 A criminal complaint was filed by P/Supt. 1998 for violation of Rep.38 and found marijuana. Capt. who turned out to be Nelson Tira." "E" – POSITIVE to the test for methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu). the latter room had no windows or ventilation.43 He denied that there were many people going in and out of the Tira residence. As they parked the car at Calle Perez. Moreno filed an Information against the Tira Spouses for illegal possession of shabu and marijuana. The first room was rented out.44 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court rendered judgment on September 24. when the policemen tried to serve the said warrant. Chris Tira.31 He leased the room located at the western portion to his nephew Chris Tira32 and the latter’s live-in-partner Gemma Lim for four hundred pesos a month.39 An inventory of the items seized was made afterwards. Victorio executed a Compliance/Return of Search Warrant. Bravo was with at least ten other policemen. money and some paraphernalia.41 Subsequently. Urdaneta. However. testified that he was the one who constructed the Tira residence and that the house initially had two rooms. the other policemen were waiting.001 gram of shabu.
appealed the decision. It held that Amadeo. 3 issued by Judge Aurora Gayapa. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is hereby ordered to transmit the person of Amadeo Tira to the National Bilibid Prison with proper escort within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of this Order. The amount of P12. At 2:30 p. On October 26. Thus. the accused conspired and confederated with each other in keeping custody of the said prohibited articles. a neighbor of the Tiras." while Connie was in the kitchen nursing her baby. lived approximately ten meters away from the latter.00 is hereby forfeited in favor of the government which forms part of the fine. She had other three children. respectively. denying the motion to quash.46 Amadeo appealed the decision. The Warden. pending the resolution of the motion. Her husband Amadeo was sleeping in one of the rooms. likewise. The boarders. the disposable lighter and the aluminum foil are likewise forfeited in favor of the government. she frequently went to her neighbor’s house to watch certain programs.45 The trial court upheld the validity of Search Warrant No. aged eight. the search warrant issued was in the nature of a general warrant. as the judge issued the search warrant without conducting searching questions and answers.47 The Case Against Connie Tira After her arrest. The Warden. while their boarders were in their respective rooms. The Court sentences Amadeo Tira to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine of P1. She contended that the same was issued in violation of Section 4.54 The court also held that Connie Tira’s flight from their house after the search was an indication of her guilt.001 gram are hereby forfeited in favor of the government. as amended by Republic Act 7659. In the afternoon of March 9. It found Amadeo’s defense. as owner of the house. It stressed that Connie and Amadeo Tira jointly controlled and possessed the shabu and marijuana that the policemen found therein.001 gram are hereby forfeited in favor of the government. and her brother-in-law.536. known as [the] Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972.00. The policemen found and seized articles in the room occupied by one of their boarders. The Branch Clerk of Court of this Court is hereby ordered to prepare the mittimus. Connie filed a motion to quash search warrant.51 It did not give credence to the allegations of Connie Tira. 1998. Suddenly. Nelson Tira. and brought them to the police station.536. She pleaded not guilty to the charge of illegal possession of shabu and marijuana. however. forfeited in favor of the government.000. and without attaching the records of the proceedings. she was at the Tira residence watching "Mirasol. and found that Judge Gayapa issued the search warrant after conducting searching questions. the marijuana weighing 807.00 is hereby forfeited in favor of the government which forms part of the fine. Moreover. of Republic Act 6425. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is hereby ordered to transmit the person of Connie Tira to the National Bilibid Prisons with proper escort within fifteen (15) days upon receipt of his Order.48 alleging that the police officers who applied for the said warrant did not have any personal knowledge of the reported illegal activities. as husband and wife. Since they had no television. The amount of P12. likewise. were not arrested. 1998. JUDGMENT is hereby rendered CONVICTING beyond reasonable doubt accused CONNIE TIRA for Illegal Possession of Marijuana weighing 807.001 gram of shabu. 1998. had control over the room as well as the things found therein and that the inner room was a secret and practical place to keep marijuana.52 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court found Connie Tira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of 807. five policemen barged into their house and searched all the rooms. two male persons and one female. while her husband was employed at the Glasshouse Trading.. to justify the "fishing expedition" conducted on the premises.Republic Act 7659. Joy Fernandez. Gayapa to forward the stenographic notes of the applicant and the witnesses.55 The Present Appeal
. It ratiocinated that it was unusual for a wife not to know the existence of prohibited drugs in the conjugal abode.49 Connie was arraigned on November 9. shabu and related paraphernalia. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. that the room where the items were seized was rented out to the couple Cris Tira and Gemma Lim. One of the rooms in their house was occupied by their three boarders. the marijuana weighing 807.m. 1998.001 gram penalized under Article III.3 grams and shabu weighing 1.3 grams and shabu weighing 1.000.000.000. and three. Connie. In the afternoon of March 9.3 grams of marijuana and 1.00.3 grams and shabu weighing 1. who were watching television. the disposable lighter and the aluminum foil are. Connie testified that she was engaged in the business of buying and selling of fruits. four. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court. control and possession of the shabu and marijuana found in the first or inner room of their house. she and her husband Amadeo were in their house. Section 16 and 20.53 The trial court did not believe that Connie Tira had no knowledge. They arrested Amadeo. about five or ten persons ran inside the house and handcuffed Amadeo Tira. Suddenly. and in consideration of the affidavit of witness Enrique Milad.50 The trial court thereafter issued an Order on November 11. the presiding judge ordered Judge Aurora A. the Court sentences Connie Tira to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and a fine ofP1. she was in the kitchen
taking care of her one-year-old child. unsubstantiated. 1998.
Q What else? A Lighter. Q Where. Hence. was made in their absence. to be made in presence of two witnesses. and that the same were in their possession and control when found by the policemen. The appellants posit that the articles and substances found by the policemen in their house are inadmissible in evidence. or premise. Search of house. Sir. PROS. considering that the room was occupied by Chris Tira and his live-in partner. One (1) brick of marijuana
. DUMLAO Q In the course of your search. The
A We found out suspected marijuana leaves.In their brief. in what particular place did you find? A Under the bed inside the room of Amadeo Tira. 7. The appellants contend that the search conducted by the policemen in the room occupied by Chris and Gemma Lim. could you identify the same? WITNESS: A Yes. Rule 126 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure. The appeals have no merit. or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the absence of the latter. Contrary to the appellants’ claim.56 The Court shall resolve the assigned errors simultaneously as they are interrelated. in the presence of two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. They insist that it cannot be presumed that they were in control and possession of the said substances/articles simply because they owned the house where the same were found. what did you find? WITNESS:
ASSUMING THAT ACCUSED-APPELLANT AMADEO TIRA IS GUILTY AS CHARGED. The appellants further assert that the prosecution failed to prove that they owned the prohibited drugs. Sir. Q About the marijuana leaves. if shown to you could you identify the same? A Yes. appellant Amadeo Tira was present when the policemen searched the inner room of the house. Gemma Lim. Sir. Sir. COURT: Q If that shabu will be shown to you. Sir. Sir Q What else did you find aside from marijuana leaves? A We also find suspected sachet of shabu. Thus. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THERE WAS A CONSPIRACY BETWEEN HIM AND HIS WIFE CONNIE TIRA. shabu and lighter? … A I have here the list. you saw the father and you told him you are implementing the Search Warrant and your group was allowed to enter and you are allowed to search in the presence of Amadeo Tira? A Yes. being the fruits of a poisonous tree. room. The articles and substances were found under the bed on which the appellant Amadeo Tira slept. PROS. Sir. the appellants Amadeo and Connie Tira assigned the following errors committed by the trial court: I THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING ACCUSEDAPPELLANTS DESPITE FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE THEIR GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. the search was made in violation of Section 7. III
policemen did not find the said articles and substances in any other room in the house: Q So when you reached the house of Amadeo Tira at the Tira’s compound. they contend. they should have been acquitted of the crime charged. where the articles and substances were found by the policemen. – No search of house. room. Sir. which provides: SEC. The appellant Connie Tira avers that she never fled from their house after the policemen had conducted the search. II THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE SEARCH WAS ILLEGALLY MADE. DUMLAO: Q What else did you find out aside from the marijuana leaves. Neither was she arrested by the policemen when they arrested her husband.
Q What was he doing there?
several empty plastic. Q What did you find out? A Shabu and Marijuana and paraphernalia. what did you do? one (1) sachet of shabu confiscated from Nelson Tira.00 in different denominations believe[d] to be proceeds of the contraband. Kagawad Mario Conwi and Ernesto Tira. Sir.59 The trial court rejected the testimony of appellant Amadeo Tira that the inner room searched by the policemen was occupied by Chris Tira and his girlfriend Gemma Lim with the following encompassing disquisition: … The defense contention that a couple from Baguio City first occupied the first room. this is the one. she was taking care of the baby. Sir.
.24 pcs. marijuana. Sir. along with Kagawad Conwi and Ernesto Tira. Q What mark did you place? A My signature. Q All of the items? A Only the marijuana. is this the one you are referring to? A Yes. sachets of suspected "shabu" 6 disposable lighters 1 roll of aluminum foil
A Yes. what did you do? A We marked them. Ernesto Tira even led the policemen inside the house. Sir. several used and unused aluminum foil.58 Appellant Amadeo Tira was not the only witness to the search.536. Sir. and cash money amounting to P12.57 … PROS. Sir. several empty plastics (tea bag). Sir.00 cash in different denominations proceeds of the contrand (sic). Sir. showing to you a (sic) one (1) brick suspected to be marijuana leaves. Amadeo’s father. tea bag of marijuana 9 pcs. and unused aluminum foil Q Upon entering the house. Q When you found shabu. A We entered and searched the first room. is she the same Connie Tira the accused in this case? Q You said you recovered one (1) brick of marijuana leaves. but also by the certification signed by the appellant himself. … A Near the marijuana at the bag. Sir. Q About the money. one (1) brick of suspected dried marijuana leaves weighing more or less 750 grams. COURT: Q Are you one of those who entered the house? Q Where did you find the money? A Yes. did you notice who was present? A I noticed the presence of Connie Tira. twenty-four (24) tea bags containing dried marijuana leaves. could you still identify if shown to you? A Yes. TOMBOC: … Q And when you were allowed to enter the house. This is evidenced not only by the testimony of Kagawad Conwi. Q Who else? A We also noticed the presence of Amadeo Tira. and P12. the Court is not persuaded Q Can you mention to the Honorable Court those items that you searched in the house of Connie Tira and Amadeo Tira? A As per in (sic) our records. and money. Sir. we found three (3) sachets containing suspected Methamphetamine Hydrochloride "Shabu" residue. Sir. were also present. several used A He was newly awake. Sir. Q When you said Connie Tira. lighter. six (6) disposable lighter. one (1) roll aluminum foil. Sir.536. Sir.
6425.61 We agree with the finding of the trial court that the only occupants of the house when the policemen conducted their search were the appellants and their young children. Sir. were not presented in Court. and thus. and. at about 2:30 p. the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge of the existence and presence of the drug in the place under his control and dominion and the character of the drug. had first hand knowledge of the layout of the house. Madam Witness? A At that time. This crime is mala prohibita. And why did not Amadeo Tira supply the police officers of the personal identities and address where they could find Chris Tira and Gemma Lim at the time of the search. constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place where it is found. conviction need not be predicated upon exclusive possession.68 Since knowledge by the accused of the existence and character of the drugs in the place where he exercises dominion and control is an internal act. viz: (1) the actual possession of an item or object which is identified to be a prohibited drug. or soap evidencing that the said room was occupied by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. the testimony of the appellant Amadeo Tira. Possession. the same room was rented by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. There was no proof showing that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim ever occupied the room. Q And it is in that room where your husband was sleeping and where those articles were taken? A No. as amended by Rep. Sir. Q They were not investigated by the police? A No. under the law. that the inner room was occupied by Chris Tira and Gemma Lim who were not there when the search was conducted. There were no kitchen plates.69
. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical possession or control of the accused. Besides. 1998.60 … We are in full accord with the trial court. (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly constituted authorities.64 Exclusive possession or control is not necessary.63 On the other hand. There are no banana stored in the room at the time of the search and both of them were out of the room at the time of the search. Sir. or within such premises in the absence of any satisfactory explanation. However. However. shoes and other accessories which make them the residents or occupants of the room. Secondly.67 Such fact of possession may be proved by direct or circumstantial evidence and any reasonable inference drawn therefrom. criminal intent is not an essential element. Sir. as such. Sir. Q And they proceeded to your room where your husband was sleeping at that time? A Yes. and a showing of non-exclusive possession would not exonerate the accused. Q When did they leave. the same may be presumed from the fact that the dangerous drug is in the house or place over which the accused has control or dominion. Before the accused may be convicted of violating Section 8 of Republic Act No. The defense did not even show proof showing that Chris Tira reside in the first room. and. Amadeo Tira contended that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim are engaged in banana business.m. soap.because they did not present said businessmen from Baguio City who were engaged in vegetable business. Chris Tira and Gemma Lim.62 The essential elements of the crime of possession of regulated drugs are the following: (a) the accused is found in possession of a regulated drug. is shared with another. at that time where were those boarders? A They were inside their room. they left the house. (3) the accused freely or consciously possessed the said drug. is belied by the testimony of the appellant Connie Tira that the room was occupied by two male and one female boarders who were in the room when the policemen searched it. Madam Witness? A No more. like personal belongings of Chris Tira and Gemma Lim. (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a regulated drug. the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt the essential elements of the crime. Q Where are (sic) those things came (sic) from? A At the room where my boarders occupied. If they were banana dealers. several policemen barged [sic] your house? … A Yes. they should have been apprehended by the searching party on March 9.65 The accused cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and dominion over the place where the contraband is located. Q So. (2) such possession is not authorized by law. like clothings. If it were true that Chris Tira and Gemma Lim were the supposed lessees of the room. but also constructive possession. they must be selling their banana in the market and they could have pointed them in the market.66 Thus. spoons. engaged in banana business. toothbrush. powder. It bears stressing that the trial court conducted an ocular inspection of the house of the appellants. includes not only actual possession. Q How many of them?
A Two (2) male persons and one woman. Sir. Act No. Sir. Q And do you know their whereabout[s]. 7659. and. Sir. Thus: Q You said that while taking care of your baby. and that the appellants had no boarders therein. the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus posidendi) the drugs. Sir.
is prision correccional to reclusion perpetua. . We do not agree with the trial court and the OSG. It is unusual for a wife not to know the existence in their conjugal abode.Cash money amounting to P12. had no involvement in the criminal actuations of her husband. a prohibited drug.Several empty plastics (tea bag) . We agree with the findings and disquisition of the trial court. conspiring together. They failed to do so. We find and so hold that the appellants are guilty of two separate crimes: (a) possession of regulated drugs under Section 16. Act No.Six (6) pieces opened sachets of shabu residue
. The appellants had actual and exclusive possession and control and dominion over the house." "N. Connie Tira and Amadeo Tira jointly control and possess the shabu (Exhibits "M" and "N") and marijuana (Exhibits "O" and "P") found in the room of their house. She had full access to the room. the imposable penalty shall be as follows: QUANTITY IMPOSABLE PENALTY Less than one (1) gram to 49. nevertheless. the above-named accused. a regulated drug. (b) violation of Section 8.A. CONTRARY TO SEC. Article II of Rep. for their possession of methamphetamine hydrochloride. in relation to Section 20. The appellants should have filed a motion to quash the Information under Section 3.One (1) brick of dried marijuana leaves weighing 721 grams
98. for illegal possession of 807. Section 8. Act No. and had no knowledge of the existence of the drugs in the inner room of the house.3 grams of marijuana. 3. 8. as amended. they could be tried and convicted for the crimes alleged therein and proved by the prosecution. The appellant Connie Tira cannot escape criminal liability for the crime charged simply and merely on her barefaced testimony that she was a plain housewife. as amended. including the space under the bed. in relation to Section 20. cleaning it.000. and. in the Municipality of Urdaneta. the appellants are sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. shabu. Under Section 16.26 grams to 98. conformably to Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code and are ordered to pay a fine of P500. in this case. under Rule 120. for their possession of marijuana.Six  disposable lighter . Hence. 6425. setting out separately the findings of fact and law in each offense.One (1) roll Aluminum foil . The Crimes Committed by the Appellants The trial court convicted the appellants of violating Section 16. The husband and wife (Amadeo and Connie) conspired and confederated with each other the keeping and custody of said prohibited articles.50 grams prision mayor
. 6425. control and possession of the shabu and marijuana (Exhibits "M. less than 200 grams. without first securing the necessary permit/license to posses[s] the same. Act No. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. the questioned shabu and marijuana. as amended. Article III of Rep.A.3 grams . The Proper Penalties On the Appellants The crime of violation of Section 8. as amended.536.51 grams to 147. the appellants may be convicted of the crimes charged. or even sleeping on the bed. Act No. 1998. Act No. in relation to Section 20. the appellant Amadeo Tira. control and custody the following: . 6425. is punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.When two or more offenses are charged in a single complaint or information but the accused fails to object to it before trial. province of Pangasinan. Judgment for two or more offenses.Twenty-four (24) tea bags of dried marijuana leaves weighing 86. of Rep. as amended.00 in different denominations believed to be proceeds of the contraband. Both of them are deemed in possession of said articles in violation of R. as amended.00.In this case. The said Rule provides: SEC. of Rep. In this case. a prohibited drug. Considering that there are no qualifying circumstances. and impose on him the penalty for each offense. the imposable penalty of possession of a regulated drug. Based on the quantity of the regulated drug subject of the offense.25 grams prision correccional 49. She failed to adduce any credible evidence that she was prohibited by her husband. including the room where the drugs were found by the policemen. 6425. Section 3 of the said rule. the court may convict him of as many offenses as are charged and proved. 6425.75 grams reclusion temporal
. did then and there willfully. Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Court before their arraignment. the appellants were charged for violation of possession of marijuana and shabu in one Information which reads: That on or about March 9."70 The Information is defective because it charges two crimes. 6425. unlawfully and feloniously have in their possession. from entering the room. 20 of R. in relation to Section 20 of the law. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asserts that the appellants should be convicted of violating Section 8 of Rep. Although only one Information was filed against the appellants." "O" and "P") found in their room. in relation to Sec. the prohibited and regulated drugs were found under the bed in the inner room of the house of the appellants where they also resided. viz: The Court is not persuaded that Connie Tira has no knowledge.Three (3) pieces (sic) sachets of shabu . 6425.
3 alleging as follows. were issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Antonio M. 05-6336 and 056337 are relevant to the present case. Act No. The search conducted was illegal. to three (3) years of prision correccional in its medium period as maximum. vs. likewise.76 grams to 199 grams reclusion perpetua Considering that the regulated drug found in the possession of the appellants is only 1. 2005.000.. as amended. Inc. for violation of Section 16 of Rep. 3. as amended. 6425. as amended.147. eight search warrants1 for copyright and trademark infringement. No costs. BFTI subsequently filed on April 5. (BFTI). after a complaint was received from petitioner. For search warrant to be valid. J.quoted verbatim: 1. and are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from Four (4) Months and One (1) Day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. the imposable penalty for the crime is prision correccional. Bright Future Technologies. 7.: On application of Inspector Rommel G.00. 2007 nine gallons of CD lacquer.
two shredder machines one color blue centroller one dryer machine 92 boxes of assorted colors of paint 600 pieces of counterfeit Sony Playstation DVDs 285 boxes of blank CDs eight boxes of white blank CDs nine boxes of AL targets two boxes of sputtering targets 18 gallons of UV bonding adhesive four gallons of DVD bondage 21 gallons of phothum chemicals
SO ORDERED. and ORDERED to pay a fine of P1. IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 16. Jr. 6425. to Three (3) years of prision correccional. No. RIGHT FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES. and G. The statement made by the affiants in their joint-affidavit in support of the application for the search warrant were false and perjurious. Article II of Rep. Sony Computer Entertainment. Act No. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. The raiding team planted evidence of 600 compact discs at the scene while no witnesses were present. Seized during the raid were the following items: eight replicating machines five bonding machines four printing machines seven polycarbonate dryers one table for silk screen ten moulds 6. the appellants are sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of from four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor in its medium period as minimum. 2. INC. (SCEI). following which a raid was conducted on the premises of respondent. in its medium period. on April 1. INC. the master tapes must be presented.. 169156 February 15. The said appellants are. Inc. Macatlang of the Philippine National Police. 5. Eugenio. Certification against forum shopping prescribed by law was not executed. four gallons of CPS mesh prep.001 grams. and are hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.000. Petitioner. No probable cause exists for the issuance of the warrant. as maximum. Act No. Article III of Rep.R.
. 6425. appellants Amadeo and Connie Tira are found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 8. 4. of which Search Warrant Nos.2 SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT. Respondent. 2005 before Branch 24 of the RTC Manila presided by Judge Eugenio an Urgent Motion to Quash and/or to Exclude or Suppress Evidence and Return Seized Articles. The searching team entered the premises and conducted the search without any witness in violation of the Rules of Court.
was violated and that the searching team’s use of a bolt cutter to open the searched premises was unnecessary.15 The case was then re-raffled to Branch 8 of the Manila RTC.M. . the RTC correctly recognized the participation of SCEI in the proceedings. 2005 Order by Order of August 8. when it ordered the immediate release of the seized property prior to the finality of the order quashing the search warrants. when it ruled that the use of the bolt cutter violated Section 7 of Rule 126. under the circumstances. presided by Judge Felixberto T. . 2005 an Ex Parte Motion to Return Seized Articles19 which the RTC granted. 03-8-02. 9. The place to be searched was not described with particularity. Judge Eugenio "voluntarily inhibited" himself from the case. . to appear and participate as a private complainant in the search warrant proceedings. (b) . . like SCEI. when it disregarded [its] clear right . the RTC denied BFTI’s motion to quash the warrants. contending that the RTC erred (1) . 2005. or a motion for the reconsideration of the court order granting such motion to quash. (2) .
.8. it granted BFTI’s Motion for Reconsideration of its April 18.net .21 and the seized items were turned over to its custody. filed with the Department of Justice Task Force on Anti-Intellectual Property Piracy a complaint-affidavit against the directors and officers of BFTI.41awphi1. arose SCEI’s present Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 4523 which assails the August 8 and August 10. . (a) . .22 Hence. may appear.9 The case was thereafter raffled to Branch 21 of the Manila RTC.10 In the meantime or on April 14. Jr. . . has the right to participate in search warrant proceedings was addressed in the affirmative in United Laboratories. the validity of the search warrant issued by the court and theadmissibility of the properties seized in anticipation of a criminal case to be filed.24 The issue of whether a private complainant. 8. Isip:25lawphil. such private party may do so in collaboration with the NBI or such government agency."14 In an Order dated May 20. when it released the seized properties by virtue of the filing of a bond by the respondent. .26 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) When SCEI then opposed BFTI’s Urgent Motion to Quash and/or to Suppress or Exclude Evidence and Return Seized Articles (emphasis supplied). inter alia. No. . Olalia. by Order of August 10. 2005 Orders of the court a quo. It also filed joint motions "for the inhibition of the Honorable Judge Amor Reyes. for the clarification of issues related to search and seizure cases and to arrive at a better conclusion and resolution of issues in this case. such as the BFAD. and that a bond is not required in the application for their issuance. however. Search of house.6 the latter arguing that SCEI had no personality to represent the People of the Philippines in the case and to file the opposition to the motion because SCEI’s agents were mere witnesses of the applicant for the issuance of the search warrants. 2005. or premises to be made in presence of two witnesses. No bond was posted by the applicant. it was. ." and "for the return of the case to the executive judge.  . 2005. (Underscoring supplied). hence.18
BFTI subsequently filed on August 9. when it ruled that the enforcement of the search warrant violated the two-witness rule provided in Section 8 of Rule 126. Inc. BFTI filed a Motion for Reconsideration13 of the denial of its motion to quash. (a) . participate and file pleadings in the search warrant proceedings to maintain. room or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the absence of the latter. 2005." "for reconsideration of the order of voluntary inhibition dated April 11.net SCEI filed an Opposition5 to the motion. Judge Reyes transmitted the records of the case to the Executive Judge pursuant to A. two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. Reyes. . ─ No search of a house. through counsel. the RTC held that it would treat SCEI’s counsel as "an officer of [the] Court to argue the other side. room. it finding that they were regularly issued and implemented. found that the two-witness rule under Section 8 of Rule 126 which provides: SEC. [A] private individual or a private corporation complaining to the NBI or to a government agency charged with the enforcement of special penal laws.20 BFTI filed the required bond alright. when it granted respondent’s Motion to Quash based on questions of alleged irregularities by the peace officers in enforcing the search warrants. 2005."17 The RTC. As for the use of a bolt cutter to gain access to the premises of BFTI. to which BFTI filed a Reply.7 On April 11. 2005. subject to the filing of a bond. . The party may file an opposition to a motion to quash the search warrant issued by the court. acting on a Very Urgent Motion to Inhibit8 filed by SCEI to which BFTI interposed its objection.11 By Order12 dated April 18. . reasonable.16 In addressing the issue of SCEI’s personality to appear in the proceedings. . so to speak. . SCEI. 2005. presided by Judge Amor A. v.
30 and that "[e]ven when the enforcing officers were moving towards the actual BFTI premises . with the MODIFICATION that the portion requiring respondent to file a bond is SET ASIDE. a copying machine.33 A final word.
. to wit: xxxx 3. 63231478 issued to Manlite Transport Corporation (Manlite). SCEI v. which rule is mandatory to ensure regularity in the execution of the search warrant. after the members of the searching team introduced themselves to the security guards of BFTI and showed them the search warrants..S. (Underscoring supplied) The RTC’s finding that the two-witness rule governing the execution of search warrant was not complied with. Masambique who affirmed in their testimonies in Court that. No.R. 581-92 issued by then Regional Trial Court Judge Bernardo P. is AFFIRMED. 165678 July 17.: The Case Before the Court is a petition for review assailing the 15 June 2004 Decision1 and 15 October 2004 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Observed the RTC: At this point. operatives of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Special Mission Group Task Force Lawin of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) led by then Philippine National Police Superintendent Panfilo Lacson and Police Senior Inspector Cesar Ouano. G. Panuncio (petitioner). Inc. DECISION CARPIO. the guards refused to receive the warrants and to open the premises. SCEI insists. Macatlang’s testimony that the Barangay officials arrived at about 11:30 PM to 12 AM. that the searching team waited for the arrival of the barangay officials who were summoned to witness the search. Let the bond then filed by respondent be CANCELLED. several typewriters. As the two-witness rule was not complied with. Bright Future Technologies. J. WHEREFORE. .contrary to the RTC’s finding that it was unnecessary. they were accompanied at all times by one of the security guards on duty until the barangay officials arrived.32 In any event. Pagkatapos ay nilapitan ako ng isang pulis at ipinatanggap sa akin ang nasabing search warrant. raided the residence of Rosario S. and other tools and equipment. together with Barangay Chairman Antonio Manalo (Manalo). 2005 Order of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. The Antecedent Facts On 3 August 1992. vs. The document was photographed during the raid while it was still mounted on one of the typewriters. The August 8. Petitioner signed a certification of orderly search. Branch 8 granting the Urgent Motion to Quash filed by respondent. The operatives confiscated LTO documents.29 (Underscoring supplied) The RTC did not thus err in ordering the quashal of the search warrants. has no basis in law. Sr. if refused admittance to the place of directed search after giving notice of his purpose and authority. de Castro and Gaudencio A. One of the LTO documents confiscated was MVRR No. Sy. 2005 Order granting the Ex Parte Motion to Return Seized Articles filed by respondent is AFFIRMED. a jeepney operator.R."31 SCEI’s position raises an issue of fact which is not proper for consideration in a petition for review on certiorari before this Court under Rule 45."27 The conditions required under Section 7 of Rule 126 were thus complied with: The officer. they claiming that "they are not in control of the case. 2005315. may break open any outer or inner door or window of a house or any part of a house or anything therein to execute the warrant or liberate himself or any person lawfully aiding him when unlawfully detained therein. at 204 E. Avenue. the petition is DENIED. Petitioner. et al. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Jr. Noong ako ay makarating sa nasabing lugar nadatnan ko ang mga pulis at mga miyembro ng Raiding Team na nasa loob na ng gusali ng Bright Future at nagsisiyasat sa mga gamit at makinaryang naroroon. it would serve no purpose to ensure their return.28 is in order. however. The August 10.. The RTC order requiring BFTI to file a bond to ensure the return of the seized items should the Department of Justice find probable cause against it in I. These statements of the two Barangay Police ostensibly arriving late while a search was going on was corroborated by Insp. which is supposed to cover only issues of law. Pardo. Quezon City. . on motion of BFTI. 17 pieces of private vehicle plates. Besides. at about 4 o’ clock in the afternoon. Respondent. was thus in order. PANUNCIO. the objects seized during the April 1. Rodriguez. 2009
ROSARIO S. it is worthy of note [sic] the two statements issued by Barangay Police Subrino P. CR No. as the RTC itself found. No. the seized items being inadmissible in evidence. For. 2005 search are inadmissible in
evidence. a security guard may not be considered a "lawful occupant" or "a member of [the lawful occupant’s] family" under the earlier quoted Section 8 of Rule 126. SO ORDERED. Anthony Bryan B. Their return.. The police were already searching ("nagsisiyasat") the area of respondent BFTI in clear violation of the two-witness rule provided for by Section 8 of Rule 126. however. armed with Search Warrant No. 25254.
172 of the Revised Penal Code which carries the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum period and a fine of not more than P5. Gross Weight Net Capacity Payment of 1992 Renewal Registration Owner Address
SP-MM-12857-87-C 3. the accused is found guilty as charged with the crime of Falsification of Public Document under Art. was presented and compared with MVRR No.petitioner’s employee Myrna Velasco (Velasco).00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. petitioner entered a plea of not guilty. thus: That on August 3. Quezon City via España 179837
Serial No. which the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.. and Nidua also signed a Receipt of Property Seized issued by PO3 Manuel Nicolas Abuda. 1992 changing the meaning of the document and causing the document to speak something false. She alleged that Manlite. Lopez was not charged since it was shown that he was only a visitor of the house when the raid took place. when in truth and in fact. did. unlawfully and feloniously with intent to cause damage falsified the vital informations as appearing on Land Transportation Office (LTO) official receipt no. Assistant Secretary for the LTO. Velasco. the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s Decision with modification. MVRR No. As Per from Photocopy of Owner’s Copy (recovered from petitioner’s residence) The Decision of the Court of Appeals 0478-50065 127 In its 15 JuneDEU 2004 Decision. the prosecution having proven the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. and when she returned home. accused knew fully well that the document as falsified do not legally exist and is different from the official file of the LTO. She further alleged that she was charged with falsification because she refused the police authorities’ demand for money. pre-trial and the trial of the case ensued. The Decision of the Trial Court In its 2 September 1997 Decision. The dispositive portion of the trial court’s Decision reads: WHEREFORE.
Petitioner denied that she was the source of the falsified documents.M.8 Petitioner appealed the trial court’s Decision. then and there. Jr. 1730. which she used to coown with her late husband. The Court of Binangonan-Cubao via Appeals held that petitioner committed falsification of a Marcos Highway and vice-versa public document..000 1. Petitioner. 43. She alleged that she was not at home when the raid took place.C. a photocopy of the duplicate original of MVRR No. Thereafter.000.3 Petitioner filed a motion for reinvestigation. Sections 31 and 56 of Republic Act No. and 315 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). Lopez (Lopez) were arrested and brought to the PACC.m. already stopped operating in April 1992 and her business was operating under the name Rosario Panuncio. The Court of Appeals ruled that the search warrant did not suffer from any legal infirmity because the 100002 items to be seized were already specified and identified in the warrant. 63231478 confiscated from petitioner’s residence. SO ORDERED. who was representing his office. submitted its Resolution5 recommending that petitioner be prosecuted for falsification. and a fine of P2. Petitioner and one Jaime L. 63231478 dated July 31. Juan V. granted in its order of 1 March 1993. Rodriguez Ave.. On 1 June 1994. The trial court set the arraignment. Without costs. and Batas Pambansa Blg.00. a private individual and owner/operator of a residence/ office located at 204 E. 172. Branch 107 (trial court).7 the trial court found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of falsification of a public document under Articles 171 and 172 of the RPC.500 P513 Manlite Transport Co. to the prejudice of public interest. filed a complaint against petitioner for violation of Articles 171. The Court of Appeals declared that the court’s
. 176. accused Rosario Panuncio y Sy is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of Six (6) Months and One (1) Day of arresto mayor as minimum to FOUR (4) Years or prision correccional as maximum. through State Prosecutor Mario A. 1992 at about 4:00 p. 204 E. the police authorities had already emptied her shelves and she was just forced to sign the search warrant. Presidential Decree No. inventory receipt. 4136. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Plate No. Rodriguez Avenue. willfully. An Information for violation of Article 172(1) in relation to Article 171 of the RPC was filed against petitioner. Inc. Borra. 4B-0476-20101 DFK 587 Arroceros-Project 4. Department of Transportation and Communications. and one Cesar Nidua (Nidua). The following discrepancies were noted: As Per EDP/LTO File File No.000. Route Motor No. which was a faithful reproduction of the document in LTO’s file. the Department of Justice. The trial court ruled that the raid yielded incriminatory evidence to support the theory that petitioner was engaged in falsifying LTO documents and license plate registration receipts. Caraos. The trial court ruled that the facts established by the prosecution were not substantially disputed by the defense. Q. 63231478 dated 31 July 1992..4 The trial court gave the public prosecutor 20 days within which to submit his report on the reinvestigation. and the certificate of orderly search. 171 and Art. as amended.lawph!l CONTRARY TO LAW. accused ROSARIO PANUNCIO y SY. and on 28 June 1994. Quezon City. Manalo. During the trial.
(2) that he committed any of the acts of falsification enumerated in Article 171 of the RPC. private. Petitioner further argues that only a photocopy of the purported owner’s copy was presented to the trial court and there could be no falsification of a mere photocopy. Petitioner falsified the owner’s copy of MVRR No. Thus. Whether the elements of falsification of a public document under Article 172(1) in relation to Article 171 of the RPC have been established. as she hereby is." Petitioner argues that MVRR No. MVRR No. As such. DFK 587. and Nidua. Whether the evidence gathered during the search are admissible in evidence. The falsified document. The alteration made by petitioner changed the meaning of the document within the context of Article 171(6) of the RPC which punishes as falsification the making of "any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning. Article 172 of the RPC are: (1) that the offender is a private individual or a public officer or employee who did not take advantage of his official position. 63231478 was found during a valid search conducted in petitioner’s residence. the original document in LTO’s files was issued to a Manlite vehicle with Plate No. DEU 127 when in the LTO’s files. The falsified copy of MVRR No. or commercial documents. In its 15 October 2004 Resolution. 63231478 in the LTO’s files and the owner’s copy of it was in
. Petitioner failed to raise the issue of the defective information before the trial court through a motion for bill of particulars or a motion to quash the information. the Court of Appeals denied the motion. 2. 63231478. we do not agree with petitioner. It is the owner’s copy of the Official Receipt of the payment of the vehicle’s registration fee. the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court against accused-appellant Rosario Panuncio y Sy is AFFIRMED. could be used for another vehicle operated by Manlite to make it appear that it was validly registered with the LTO. Falsification of Public Documents At the outset. The falsified document was purportedly issued to a Manlite vehicle with Plate No. DEU 127 plying Binangonan-Cubao via Marcos Highway. It was issued in the name of Manlite which petitioner admitted as co-owned by her together with her late husband. the petition before this Court. The Court disagrees with petitioner. and (3) that the falsification was committed in a public. No pronouncement as to costs. is an official document issued by the LTO. she was not informed of the specific violation for which she was held liable. petitioner argues that the Information was defective because it did not specifically mention the provision that she violated. Again. Petitioner’s failure to object to the allegation in the information before she entered her plea of not guilty amounted to a waiver of the defect in the information. SO ORDERED.10 Objections as to matters of form or substance
in the information cannot be made for the first time on appeal. or a public officer or employee who did not take advantage of his official position.11 Falsification of documents under paragraph 1. In this case. Velasco. denominated as LTO Form No. The Court of Appeals noted that the search was conducted not only in the presence of petitioner but also in the presence of Manalo. Quezon City via España. and 4.14 The elements of falsification of documents under paragraph 1. Whether the Court of Appeals properly applied the Indeterminate Sentence Law (ISL). purportedly issued in the name of Manlite. it was issued to a vehicle of Manlite with Plate No. ensured that unreasonable searches and seizures would not take place and abuses would be avoided. 3. The dispositive portion of the Decision of the Court of Appeals reads: WHEREFORE. of public. official or commercial document. 2. We cannot sustain petitioner’s argument. Article 17212 in relation to Article 17113 of the RPC refers to falsification by a private individual. It has been established that there is a genuine copy of MVRR No.designation of the place to be searched and the articles to be seized left the police authorities with no discretion. petitioner is a private individual. 63231478 by making it appear that it was an owner’s copy issued to a vehicle of Manlite with Plate No. Hence.15 In this case. The Court of Appeals further ruled that the Rules of Court do not require that the owner of the place to be searched be present during the conduct of the raid. The discrepancies between the document in LTO’s files and the document confiscated in petitioner’s house were duly noted by the trial court and remained undisputed. The Issues Petitioner raises the following issues: 1. sentenced to serve an indeterminate penalty of two (2) years and four (4) months of prision correccional as minimum to six (6) years of prision correccional as maximum.9 Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. but with the MODIFICATION that she should be. there is a presumption that she falsified it and she was using it for her benefit. 63231478 was not found in her possession and that it was not proved that she had participation in the criminal act. DFK 587 plying Arroceros-Project 4. The Ruling of this Court The petition has no merit. Whether the search was regularly conducted.
The facts of the case as gleaned from the records are: In an Information dated September 22. which ranges from two years. No. NELSONIDA T. which petitioner falsified. Search of house. 8. Applying the ISL. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court were complied with by the police authorities who conducted the search. four months and one day to six years.18 However.1avvphi1 Validity of the Search and Admissibility of the Articles Seized Petitioner assails the validity of the search which was allegedly conducted while she was not in the house. the records show that she signed these documents together with three other persons. Costs against petitioner. is a genuine and public document.000.17Petitioner herself signed the certification of orderly search when she arrived at her residence. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of
. Hence. 2000 in CA-G. Further.000 which the Court of Appeals failed to impose. SO ORDERED. and the certificate of orderly search. including the barangay chairman who could have duly noted if petitioner was really forced to sign the documents against her will. nine months and eleven days of prision correccional. we sustain the validity of the search conducted in petitioner’s residence and. or any other premise shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or in the absence of the latter. 63231478 was not presented during the trial because petitioner kept it in her possession. We will discuss these issues together. The original copy of MVRR No. we DENY the petition. the penalty for falsification of a public document under Article 172(1) in relation to Article 171 of the RPC includes a fine of not more than P5. and RODRIGO PALASI. G.: Assailed in this Petition for Review on Certiorari is the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals dated September 15. ULAT-MARREDO. There being no mitigating or aggravating circumstances. we also modify the penalty to include the fine. the Court of Appeals sentenced petitioner to serve an indeterminate penalty of two years and four months of prision correccional as minimum to six years of prision correccional as maximum. to be made in presence of two witnesses – No search of a house. and Rodrigo Palasi.2 as amended. the presentation of a mere photocopy of the document to any traffic enforcer is enough to convince the traffic enforcer that the public vehicle was validly and lawfully registered. or four months and one day to two years and four months. In this case. inventory receipt. vs. Petitioners. 1998. However. 148117 March 22. We AFFIRM with MODIFICATION the 15 June 2004 Decision and 15 October 2004 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. petitioner may be sentenced to an indeterminate penalty the minimum of which must be within the range of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period. the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Benguet Province charged Mabini Epie. The fact remains that LTO Form No. Benguet and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. room. 55684.16 As pointed out by the Solicitor General. Respondents. the owner’s copy is usually photocopied and it is the photocopy which is usually kept inside the vehicle. with violation of Section 68 of Presidential Decree No. Panuncio guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of falsification of a public document under Article 172(1) in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code and hereby sentence her to suffer the indeterminate penalty ofIMPRISONMENT from two years and four months of prision correccional as minimum to four years. or premises. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provides: SEC. Manalo was the barangay chairman of the place while Velasco was petitioner’s employee. 25254. it has been established during the trial that as per usual practice.R. Presiding Judge. DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. The Informtion reads: That on or about the 6th day of September 1998. CR No. Province of Benguet. and a fine of not more
than P5. Section 8. we deem it proper in this case to lower the maximum penalty imposed by the Court of Appeals from six years to four years. WHEREFORE. In fact. THE HON. Application of the ISL Falsification of a public document by a private individual under Article 172(1) in relation to Article 171 of the RPC is punishable by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.petitioner’s possession. along the Halsema National Highway at Acop.R. Further. the articles seized during the search are admissible in evidence against petitioner. Section 3(2) of the Constitution. in this case. two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. Jr. Clearly. La Trinidad. Even assuming that petitioner or any lawful occupant of the house was not present when the search was conducted. the items seized during the search could not be used in evidence against her.000. petitioner failed to substantiate her allegation that she was just forced to sign the search warrant. Municipality of Tublay. Petitioner alleges that since the search warrant was defective. SP No. Articles which are the product of unreasonable searches and seizures are inadmissible as evidence pursuant to Article III. nine months and eleven days of prision correccional as maximum and to pay a FINE of P3. Regional Trial Court. room. Branch 10. the search was done in the presence of at least two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. 2007
MABINI EPIE. thus. We find petitioner Rosario S. JR. petitioners. the requirements of Section 8. 705. 2.R. J.
with the assistance of counsel de parte. Only petitioners were charged with violation of Section 68 of the Revised Forestry Code. (2) search of a moving motor vehicle. houses. filed a "Motion to Suppress Evidence of the Prosecution" on the ground that the pieces of Benguet pine lumber were illegally seized. Ulat-Marredo). and that the confiscated pieces of lumber are admissible in evidence against the accused. Hence.this Honorable Court. papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable.8 In People v. did then and there willfully. the above-named accused. CONTRARY TO LAW. Article III of the Constitution which provides: The right of the people to be secure in their persons. 1998. The driver and his companions admitted they have no permit to transport the lumber. and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place to be searched. both petitioners.7 we listed the exceptions where search and seizure may be conducted without warrant. They flagged it down but it did not stop. thus: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest. discreet. Atok. Likewise.m. 2001. of Benguet Pine lumber having a total market value of TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED SIXTY PESOS (P24. like womboc3 and chili. however. Tublay. Benguet. In People v. Probable cause is the existence of such facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonable. conspiring. Sarap. Hence. the PNP operatives spotted the jeepney heading toward La Trinidad. such search and seizure constitutes derogation of a constitutional right. provides that any evidence obtained in violation of the above provision shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. to the damage and prejudice of the GOVERNMENT in the actual sum aforesaid. AYB 117 at Km. The police saw five persons inside the jeepney then loaded with assorted vegetables. confederating. On September 15. At around 4:00 p. otherwise. However. of September 6. Aruta.
SP No. (4) seizure of the evidence in plain view. it was denied in a Resolution5 dated April 11. This right to undisturbed privacy is guaranteed by Section 2. as a general rule. Philippine Currency. that the search conducted without warrant by the police officers is valid. it was denied in a Resolution dated September 27. is not devoid of exceptions. They then swiftly established a checkpoint in Acop. 1999. When arraigned. Armando Palasi.00).360. The evidence for the prosecution shows that at around 2:30 p. Subsequently. SPO2 Alberto Ngina of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Tublay Station received an information from a confidential agent that a jeepney with Plate No. unlawfully and feloniously possess and transport 870 bd. docketed as Criminal Case No.9 we ruled that in warrantless searches. they chased the vehicle up to Shilan. Section 3(2).R. pleaded not guilty to the charge. therefore. he found some pieces of lumber under it. Petitioners then filed a motion for reconsideration. of the same day. 6 The above rule. 1999. SPO2 Ngina immediately relayed the information to SPO4 Rentao Quitoriano and SPO1 Domingo Pulig. belonging to the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (6) stop and frisk.m. the instant petition raising the sole issue of whether the police officers have a probable cause to believe that the subject vehicle was loaded with illegal cargo and that. ft. the fundamental law of the land recognizes and protects the right of a person to privacy against unreasonable intrusions by the agents of the State. the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision dismissing the petition. La Trinidad. When SPO4 Quitoriano lifted a womboc. There is no hard and fast rule or fixed formula in determining probable cause for its determination varies according to the facts of each case. Benguet was loaded with Benguet pine lumber. 2000. 96. In a Resolution4 dated July 26. La Trinidad where it finally halted. petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and prohibition. respondent judge denied the motion. After the prosecution presented its evidence. Hence. through counsel. The case was raffled to the Regional Trial Court. 55684 assailing the said Resolutions of the trial court. 98-CR-3138. (5) search when the accused himself waives his right against unreasonable searches and seizures. and (7) exigent and emergency circumstances. and mutually aiding each other and without any authority of law or without any license or permit granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). (3) search in violation of customs laws. Trial then ensued. probable cause must only be based on reasonable ground of suspicion or belief that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. The police immediately arrested and investigated petitioners. docketed as CA-G. also of Article III. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce.
. Branch 10. In this jurisdiction. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. petitioners. and with intent of gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof. and Ben Arinos. Marso Insiong Dumpit. Benguet (presided by respondent Judge Nelsonida T. it can be stopped and searched without a warrant. a search and seizure must be carried through with judicial warrant. The only requirement in these exceptions is the presence of probable cause. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the Decision.
Costs against petitioners. to the damage and prejudice of the government. Maceda informed the office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the confiscated lumber. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Tublay. at around 11:00 in the morning. DECISION CARPIO.: The Case Before this Court is a petition for review by petitioner Olympio Revaldo (petitioner) seeking to reverse the Decision1 dated 23 August 2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. They were not armed with a search warrant on that day. we ruled that where a vehicle sped away after noticing a checkpoint and even after having been flagged down by police officers. Maceda. Maceda asked petitioner who the owner of the lumber was and petitioner replied that he owned the lumber. 7. unlawfully and feloniously possess 96. SO ORDERED. did then and there willfully. One (1) pc. Four (4) pcs. in an apparent attempt to dissuade the police from proceeding with their inspection. A search of the vehicle disclosed several pieces of Benguet pine lumber. 2. 6. of that same day. The DENR entrusted to the police custody of the lumber. CR No. 1x6x5 Magkalipay. vs. and SPO4 Daniel Paloma Lasala (Lasala) as witnesses. Six (6) pcs. Petitioner stated that he would use the lumber to repair his house and to make furniture for sale. Two (2) pcs. Benguet to intercept the jeepney.m. in Criminal Case No. without any legal document as required under existing forest laws and regulations from proper government authorities. (P)rovince of Southern Leyte.14 board ft.R. 2009
Petitioner was charged with the offense of illegal possession of premium hardwood lumber in violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code. 1x10x7 Molave. AYB 117 loaded with Benguet pine lumber was at Km. CENRO-DENR.Here. Two (2) pcs. Forester II. Trial ensued. forcing the police to chase it until it reached Shilan. 2x8x7 Bajong. assisted by counsel. in the (M)unicipality of Maasin. J. WHEREFORE. The only issue we should determine is whether there was probable cause to justify such warrantless search and seizure. La Trinidad. the above-named accused. 1x6x6 Bajong. Maasin. No. there exists probable cause to justify a reasonable belief on the part of the law enforcers that the persons on board said vehicle were officers of the law or that the vehicle contained objects which were instruments of some offense. pleaded not guilty. petitioner. The prosecution presented SPO4 Constantino Maceda (Maceda). Southern Leyte. an instance where a warrantless search and seizure may be conducted by peace officers. testified that he went to the office of the PNP in Maasin. For coordination purposes. the search involved a moving vehicle. Maceda also testified that the lumber were freshly cut. Three (3) pcs. We recall that at around 2:30 p. 1652.730. Southern Leyte. 22031 affirming the Decision2 dated 5 September 1997 of the Regional Trial Court. he went with Chief Alejandro Rojas (Rojas). Maceda loaded the lumber on the patrol jeep and brought them to the police station. Two (2) pcs. Vinecarao. One (1) pc. Branch 25. They flagged it down but it did not stop. 1998. G. SPO3 Melquiades Talisic (Talisic) and SPO3 Nicasio Sunit (Sunit) to the house of petitioner to verify the report of Sunit that petitioner had in his possession lumber without the necessary documents. Southern Leyte (RTC-Branch 25).6 Saguing. Sulpicio Saguing (Saguing). Maasin. SP No. 4. 170589 April 16. with intent of gain.R. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Atok. a confidential informer disclosed to SPO2 Ngina that a passenger jeepney with Plate No. This ruling squarely applies to the present case. Upon arraignment. 2x4x6 Molave. Leyte to scale the confiscated lumber which were of
OLYMPIO REVALDO. 55684. At around 4:00 p. and 8. 3. Respondent. Benguet.R. with a total value of P1. we DENY the petition and AFFIRM the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 5. In People v. Philippine Currency. Verily. of September 6. 2x6x6 Molave. 1x6x6 Magkalipay. 1x10x6 Narra. testified that on 18 June 1992. The lumber was covered with assorted vegetables.52. finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal possession of lumber in violation of Section 683 of the Revised Forestry Code (Forestry Code). A PNP roadblock was then placed in Acop. the person in charge of the operations section of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Maasin. Philippines. They confiscated 20 pieces of lumber of different varieties lying around the vicinity of the house of petitioner. the Court of Appeals did not err in holding that respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she ruled that the warrantless search is valid and that the lumber seized is admissible in evidence against petitioners. Petitioners could not produce the required DENR permit to cut and transport the same. Petitioner.4 The Facts
.m. in an Information5 which reads: That on or about the 17th day of June 1992. of the following species of flat lumber: 1. the police spotted the vehicle. 96.
52 are hereby ordered CONFISCATED and FORFEITED in favor of the government particularly the CENRO.different varieties. Apolonio Caalim (Caalim). Doria. Under the plain view doctrine. Responsible Supply Sergeant. his aunt Gliceria Bolo (Bolo). all items recovered from petitioner during the illegal search were prohibited from being used as evidence against him. the lumber were lying around the vicinity of petitioner’s house. his mother-in-law Cecilia Tenio (Tenio). Southern Leyte which shall sell the same at public auction and the proceeds turned over to the National Treasury. and Tenio to attest to the fact that they sought prior DENR permission before cutting the trees and sawing them into lumber. This Court had the opportunity to summarize the rules governing plain view searches in the case of People v. Because the search was illegal. Sunit stopped them but allowed the lumber to be brought to the house of petitioner. The lumber were in plain view. When the police officers arrived at the house of petitioner. The Ruling of the Court of Appeals On 23 August 2004. The Secretary of the DENR may issue a Special Private Land Timber Permit to landowners to cut. Candole further testified that while they were on their way to Barangay Combado. Petitioner admitted to the policemen that he had no permit to possess the lumber because those were only given to him by his uncle Felixberto Bug-os (Bug-os). Sunit and Rojas entered his house while Talisic stayed outside. Petitioner therefore prays for his acquittal. as maximum. Petitioner testified that he is a carpenter specializing in furniture making. Bolo. (b) the discovery of the evidence in plain view is inadvertent. collect or remove narra or other premium hardwood species found in private lands. and to pay the costs. The Court of Appeals ruled that motive or intention is immaterial for the reason that mere possession of the lumber without the legal documents gives rise to criminal liability. the personnel of the PNP can seize the forest products cut. gather.10 Defense witness Candole testified that it was Bug-os who hired him to cut a "tugas" tree on his land. Southern Leyte.8 For the defense.
The 21 pieces of flat lumber of different varieties.1avvphi1.14 board feet and valued at P1. Sunit had already informed the team of the name of petitioner and the location the day before they conducted the search. respondent People of the Philippines (respondent) contends that even without a search warrant.14 to wit: The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular area.11 The Ruling of the Trial Court The trial court stated that petitioner failed to present Bug-os. The Court’s Ruling Petitioner contends that the warrantless search and seizure conducted by the police officers was illegal and thus the items seized should not have been admitted in evidence against him. objects falling in "plain view" of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure and may be presented as evidence. Petitioner argues that.zw+ In its Comment.9 The defense presented Caalim to corroborate the testimony of petitioner.14 board feet belonging to the first group of hardwood lumber. but only ten pieces remained because some were damaged due to lack of storage space. and himself as witnesses. The total volume was 96.7 Lasala. He explained further that the lumber were intended for the repair of his dilapidated house. The trial court further stated that the Forestry Code is a special law where criminal intent is not necessary. the present petition. petitioner presented Dionisio Candole (Candole).12 Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. testified that he received the 20 pieces of assorted sizes and varieties of lumber from the Clerk of Court of the Municipal Trial Court. The RTC-Branch 25 rendered judgment on 5 September 1997 convicting petitioner of the offense charged and sentencing him as follows: WHEREFORE. The police officers who conducted the search in the premises of petitioner acted on the basis only on the verbal order of the Chief of Police.730. Petitioner argues that the police officers were not armed with a search warrant when they went to his house to verify the report of Sunit that petitioner had in his possession lumber without the corresponding license. scaled at 96. Hence. PNP. gathered or taken by an offender pursuant to Section 8013 of the Forestry Code. judgment is rendered finding the accused OLYMPIO REVALDO GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged and. Finance Sergeant and Evidence Custodian. the police officers could have easily convinced a judge that there was probable cause to justify the issuance of a search warrant. sawed it into lumber and delivered the same to petitioner who paid for the labor transporting the sawn lumber. the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. Petitioner did not present any document as required by law. Maceda. but they did not. Maasin. There is no question that the police officers went to the house of petitioner because of the information relayed by Sunit that petitioner had in his possession illegally cut lumber. The seven pieces of "magkalipay" lumber were left over from a divider he made for his cousin Jose Epiz. Maasin. Transportation of timber or other forest products without authority or without the legal documents required under forest rules and regulations is punishable under Section 68 of the Forestry Code. (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes
. He was in his house working on an ordered divider for a customer in the morning of 18 June 1992 when policemen arrived and inspected his lumber. crediting him with one mitigating circumstance before applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law hereby SENTENCES him to an indeterminate imprisonment term of FOUR (4) YEARS and TWO (2) MONTHS of PRISION CORRECCIONAL as minimum to EIGHT (8) YEARS and ONE (1) DAY of PRISION MAYOR. with that information on hand.
may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The law enforcement officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he can particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand and its discovery inadvertent.15 When asked whether he had the necessary permit to possess the lumber, petitioner failed to produce one. Petitioner merely replied that the lumber in his possession was intended for the repair of his house and for his furniture shop. There was thus probable cause for the police officers to confiscate the lumber. There was, therefore, no necessity for a search warrant. The seizure of the lumber from petitioner who did not have the required permit to possess the forest products cut is sanctioned by Section 68 of the Forestry Code which provides: Sec. 68. Cutting, Gathering and/or Collecting Timber, or Other Forest Products Without License. – Any person who shall cut, gather, collect, remove timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any authority, or possess timber or other forest products without the legal documents as required under existing forest laws and regulations, shall be punished with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code: Provided, That in the case of partnerships, associations, or corporations, the officers who ordered the cutting, gathering, collection or possession shall be liable, and if such officers are aliens, they shall, in addition to the penalty, be deported without further proceedings on the part of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation. The Court shall further order the confiscation in favor of the government of the timber or any forest products cut, gathered, collected, removed, or possessed, as well as the machinery, equipment, implements and tools illegally used in the area where the timber or forest products are found. (Emphasis supplied) There are two distinct and separate offenses punished under Section 68 of the Forestry Code, to wit: (1) Cutting, gathering, collecting and removing timber or other forest products from any forest land, or timber from alienable or disposable public land, or from private land without any authority; and (2) Possession of timber or other forest products without the legal documents required under existing forest laws and regulations.16 As the Court held in People v. Que,17 in the first offense, one can raise as a defense the legality of the acts of cutting, gathering, collecting, or removing timber or other forest products by presenting the authorization issued by the DENR. In the second offense, however, it is immaterial whether the cutting, gathering, collecting and removal of the forest products are legal or not. Mere possession of forest products without the proper documents consummates the crime. Whether or not the lumber comes from a legal source
is immaterial because the Forestry Code is a special law which considers mere possession of timber or other forest products without the proper documentation as malum prohibitum. On whether the police officers had the authority to arrest petitioner, even without a warrant, Section 80 of the Forestry Code authorizes the forestry officer or employee of the DENR or any personnel of the PNP to arrest, even without a warrant, any person who has committed or is committing in his presence any of the offenses defined by the Forestry Code and to seize and confiscate the tools and equipment used in committing the offense or the forest products gathered or taken by the offender. Section 80 reads: Sec. 80. Arrest; Institution of Criminal Actions. - A forest officer or employee of the Bureau or any personnel of the Philippine Constabulary/Philippine National Police shall arrest even without warrant any person who has committed or is committing in his presence any of the offenses defined in this chapter. He shall also seize and confiscate, in favor of the Government, the tools and equipment used in committing the offense, and the forest products cut, gathered or taken by the offender in the process of committing the offense. x x x (Emphasis supplied) Petitioner was in possession of the lumber without the necessary documents when the police officers accosted him. In open court, petitioner categorically admitted the possession and ownership of the confiscated lumber as well as the fact that he did not have any legal documents therefor and that he merely intended to use the lumber for the repair of his dilapidated house. Mere possession of forest products without the proper documentation consummates the crime. Dura lex sed lex. The law may be harsh but that is the law. On the penalty imposed by the lower courts, we deem it necessary to discuss the matter. Violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code is punished as Qualified Theft with the penalties imposed under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code,18 thus: Art. 309. Penalties. - Any person guilty of theft shall be punished by: 1. The penalty of prisión mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; but if the value of the thing stolen exceeds the latter amount, the penalty shall be the maximum period of the one prescribed in this paragraph, and one year for each additional ten thousand pesos, but the total of the penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, and in connection with the accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be termed prisión mayor or reclusión temporal, as the case may be. 2. The penalty of prisión correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the thing stolen is more than 6,000 pesos but does not exceed 12,000 pesos.
3. The penalty of prisión correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the property stolen is more than 200 pesos but does not exceed 6,000 pesos. 4. Arresto mayor in its medium period to prisión correccional in its minimum period, if the value of the property stolen is over 50 pesos but does not exceed 200 pesos. 5. Arresto mayor to its full extent, if such value is over 5 pesos but does not exceed 50 pesos. 6. Arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if such value does not exceed 5 pesos. 7. Arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, if the theft is committed under the circumstances enumerated in paragraph 3 of the next preceding article and the value of the thing stolen does not exceed 5 pesos. If such value exceeds said amount, the provisions of any of the five preceding subdivisions shall be made applicable. 8. Arresto menor in its minimum period or a fine not exceeding 50 pesos, when the value of the thing stolen is not over 5 pesos, and the offender shall have acted under the impulse of hunger, poverty, or the difficulty of earning a livelihood for the support of himself or his family. Art. 310. Qualified theft. - The crime of qualified theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two degrees than those respectively specified in the next preceding articles, x x x. The trial court applied Article 309(3), in relation to Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, considering that the amount involved was P1,730.52. However, except for the amount stated in the Information, the prosecution did not present any proof as to the value of the lumber. What the prosecution presented were the Seizure Receipt19 and Confiscation Receipt20 stating the number of pieces of lumber, their species, dimensions and volumes, with "no pertinent supporting document." These do not suffice. As we have held in Merida v. People,21 to prove the amount of the property taken for fixing the penalty imposable against the accused under Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code, the prosecution must present more than a mere uncorroborated "estimate" of such fact. In the absence of independent and reliable corroboration of such estimate, the courts may either apply the minimum penalty under Article 309 or fix the value of the property taken based on the attendant circumstances of the case. Accordingly, the prescribed penalty under Article 309(6) of the Revised Penal Code is arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods. However, considering that violation of Section 68 of the Forestry Code is punished as qualified theft under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code pursuant to the Forestry Code, the prescribed penalty shall be increased by two degrees,22 that is, to prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods or two (2) years, four (4)
months and one (1) day to six (6) years. Taking into account the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum term shall be taken from anywhere within the range of four (4) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and four (4) months of arresto mayor, which is the penalty next lower to the prescribed penalty. We find it proper to impose upon petitioner, under the circumstances obtaining here, the indeterminate penalty of four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, as maximum. WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the appealed Decision convicting petitioner for violation of Section 68 (now Section 77) of the Forestry Code, as amended, with MODIFICATION as regards the penalty in that petitioner Olympio Revaldo is sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day of prision correccional, as maximum. SO ORDERED. G.R. No. 188611 June 16, 2010
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, vs. BELEN MARIACOS, Appellant. DECISION NACHURA, J.: Before this Court is an appeal from the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 02718, which affirmed the decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 29, San Fernando City, La Union, in Criminal Case No. 7144, finding appellant Belen Mariacos guilty of violating Article II, Section 5 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The facts of the case, as summarized by the CA, are as follows: Accused-appellant Belen Mariacos was charged in an Information, dated November 7, 2005 of violating Section 5, Article II of Republic Act [No.] 9165, allegedly committed as follows: "That on or about the 27th day of October, 2005, in the Municipality of San Gabriel, Province of La Union, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously transport, deliver 7,030.3, (sic) grams of dried marijuana fruiting tops without the necessary permit or authority from the proper government agency or office. CONTRARY TO LAW." When arraigned on December 13, 2005, accused-appellant pleaded not guilty. During the pre-trial, the following were stipulated upon:
"1. Accused admits that she is the same person identified in the information as Belen Mariacos; 2. That accused is a resident of Brgy. Lunoy, San Gabriel, La Union; 3. That at the time of the arrest of the accused, accused had just alighted from a passenger jeepney; 4. That the marijuana allegedly taken from the possession of the accused contained in two (2) bags were submitted for examination to the Crime Lab; 5. That per Chemistry Report No. D-109-2005, the alleged drug submitted for examination gave positive result for the presence of marijuana; 6. That the drugs allegedly obtained from the accused contained (sic) and submitted for examination weighed 7,030.3 grams; 7. The Prosecutor admits the existence of a counter-affidavit executed by the accused; and 8. The existence of the affidavits executed by the witnesses of the accused family (sic): Lyn Punasen, Mercedes Tila and Magdalena Carino." During the trial, the prosecution established the following evidence: On October 26, 2005, in the evening, the San Gabriel Police Station of San Gabriel, La Union, conducted a checkpoint near the police station at the poblacion to intercept a suspected transportation of marijuana from Barangay Balbalayang, San Gabriel, La Union. The group at the checkpoint was composed of PO2 Lunes B. Pallayoc ("PO2 Pallayoc"), the Chief of Police, and other policemen. When the checkpoint did not yield any suspect or marijuana, the Chief of Police instructed PO2 Pallayoc to proceed to Barangay Balbalayang to conduct surveillance operation (sic). At dawn on October 27, 2005, in Barangay Balbalayang, PO2 Pallayoc met with a secret agent of the Barangay Intelligence Network who informed him that a baggage of marijuana had been loaded on a passenger jeepney that was about to leave for the poblacion. The agent mentioned three (3) bags and one (1) blue plastic bag. Further, the agent described a backpack bag with an "O.K." marking. PO2 Pallayoc then boarded the said jeepney and positioned himself on top thereof. While the vehicle was in motion, he found the black backpack with an "O.K." marking and peeked inside its contents. PO2 Pallayoc found bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspapers. He then asked the other passengers on top of the jeepney about the owner of the bag, but no one knew. When the jeepney reached the poblacion, PO2 Pallayoc alighted together with the other passengers. Unfortunately, he did not notice who took the black backpack from atop the jeepney. He only realized a few moments later that the said
bag and three (3) other bags, including a blue plastic bag, were already being carried away by two (2) women. He caught up with the women and introduced himself as a policeman. He told them that they were under arrest, but one of the women got away. PO2 Pallayoc brought the woman, who was later identified as herein accused-appellant Belen Mariacos, and the bags to the police station. At the police station, the investigators contacted the Mayor of San Gabriel to witness the opening of the bags. When the Mayor arrived about fifteen (15) minutes later, the bags were opened and three (3) bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspaper, two (2) round bundles of marijuana, and two (2) bricks of marijuana fruiting tops, all wrapped in a newspaper, were recovered. Thereafter, the investigators marked, inventoried and forwarded the confiscated marijuana to the crime laboratory for examination. The laboratory examination showed that the stuff found in the bags all tested positive for marijuana, a dangerous drug. When it was accused-appellant’s turn to present evidence, she testified that: On October 27, 2005, at around 7:00 in the morning, accused-appellant, together with Lani Herbacio, was inside a passenger jeepney bound for the poblacion. While the jeepney was still at the terminal waiting for passengers, one Bennie Lao-ang ("Lao-ang"), her neighbor, requested her to carry a few bags which had been loaded on top of the jeepney. At first, accused-appellant refused, but she was persuaded later when she was told that she would only be carrying the bags. When they reached the poblacion, Laoang handed accused-appellant and her companion, Lani Herbacio, the bags, and then Lao-ang suddenly ran away. A few moments later, PO2 Pallayoc was upon them, arresting them. Without explanation, they were brought to the police station. When they were at the police station, Lani Herbacio disappeared. It was also at the police station that accusedappellant discovered the true contents of the bags which she was asked to carry. She maintained that she was not the owner of the bags and that she did not know what were contained in the bags. At the police station (sic) she executed a Counter-Affidavit.3 On January 31, 2007, the RTC promulgated a decision, the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE, the Court finds the accused Belen Mariacos GUILTY as charged and sentences here (sic) to suffer the penalty of life imprisonment and to pay a fine of P500,000.00. The 7,030.3 grams of marijuana are ordered confiscated and turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for destruction in the presence of the Court personnel and media. SO ORDERED.4 Appellant appealed her conviction to the CA. She argued that the trial court erred in considering the evidence of the prosecution despite its inadmissibility.5 She claimed that her right against an unreasonable search was flagrantly violated
10 The OSG brushed aside appellant’s argument that the bricks of marijuana were not photographed and inventoried in her presence or that of her counsel immediately after confiscation. houses. likewise. casts a serious doubt on the identity of the items allegedly confiscated from her. That said marijuana was on board the jeepney to be delivered to a specified destination was already unlawful. instruments. Series of 1990. averred that the prosecution failed to prove that the items allegedly confiscated were indeed prohibited drugs. The CA ruled that appellant was caught in flagrante delicto of "carrying and conveying" the bag that contained the illegal drugs. She claims that her constitutional right against unreasonable searches was flagrantly violated by the apprehending officer. Secondly. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. we must determine if the search was lawful. Article III of the Constitution is misplaced. Series of 1979.7 She alleged that the apprehending police officers violated Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. appealing her conviction. PO2 Pallayoc had no other recourse than to verify as promptly as possible the tip and check the contents of the bags.11 In a Decision dated January 19. The local police has been trying to intercept the transport of the illegal drugs for more than a day. It averred that PO2 Pallayoc had reasonable ground to believe that appellant had committed the crime of delivering dangerous drugs based on reliable information from their agent. So.9 The OSG also argued that appellant was now estopped from questioning the illegality of her arrest since she voluntarily entered a plea of "not guilty" upon arraignment and participated in the trial and presented her evidence. 2. whichever was practicable. x x x the search was conducted in a moving vehicle.
xxxx Firstly. there could be no violation of the right when no one was entitled thereto at that time. Once again. She. Thus. this Court had laid down the rules on searches and seizures. He asked the other passengers atop the jeepney but no one knew who owned the bags.1avvphi1 Appellant’s main argument before the CA centered on the inadmissibility of the evidence used against her. appellant contended that there was no probable cause for her arrest.13 Appellant is now before this Court. to have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of appellant or her representative. assuming it was hers. the People. then there would have been probable cause for the warrantless arrest of appellant. The failure to comply with this directive. PO2 Pallayoc could not be expected to secure a search warrant in order to check the contents of the bags which were loaded on top of the moving jeepney. this Court opines that the invocation of Section 2. when PO2 Pallayoc looked into the contents of the suspicious bags.6 Further. as amended by Board Regulation No. Thus. Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution provides: Section 2. to no avail. He saw the bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspaper. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest recognized under Section 12 [now Section
. PO2 Pallayoc needed only to see for himself to whom those bags belonged. and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable. Law and jurisprudence have laid down the instances when a warrantless search is valid. immediately after seizure or confiscation. Otherwise. clear parameters in determining which are proper and which are not. and thus held that appellant’s warrantless arrest was valid. and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. 2009. when PO2 Pallayoc was tipped by the secret agent of the Barangay Intelligence Network. 3. a search warrant would have been of no use because the motor vehicle had already left the locality. Time and again. On the other hand. without a search warrant and with no permission from her. more or less. when inspected by the police. Moreover. which was confirmed when he peeked into the bags and smelled the distinctive odor of marijuana. appellant claimed. appellant claimed that the prosecution failed to prove the corpus delicti of the crime. PO2 Pallayoc was within his lawful duty to make a warrantless arrest of accusedappellant. If it was. which prescribes the procedure in the custody of seized prohibited and regulated drugs. the facts of the case show the urgency of the situation. who shall be required to sign copies of the inventory. positing that physical inventory may be done at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending team. under the facts. and articles. when he saw accusedappellant carrying the bags. Over the years. there was no identified owner. we are asked to determine the limits of the powers of the State’s agents to conduct searches and seizures. argued that the warrantless arrest of appellant and the warrantless seizure of marijuana were valid and legal. She averred that PO2 Pallayoc’s purpose for apprehending her was to verify if the bag she was carrying was the same one he had illegally searched earlier. through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). Thus. the CA dismissed appellant’s appeal and affirmed the RTC decision in toto. papers.by Police Officer (PO)2 Pallayoc when the latter searched the bag.12 It held that the prosecution had successfully proven that appellant carried away from the jeepney a number of bags which. contained dangerous drugs. apparatuses. providing. The right of the people to be secure in their persons. At the time. Article III. and to establish the chain of custody over the same. a search of a moving vehicle has been justified on the ground that the mobility of motor vehicles makes it possible for the vehicle to move out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. Thus.8 justified as a search of a moving vehicle. The said regulation directs the apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs and/or paraphernalia. Thirdly. The appellate court ratiocinated: It must be stressed that PO2 Pallayoc had earlier ascertained the contents of the bags when he was aboard the jeep. These are: 1.
the search of a moving vehicle is one of the doctrinally accepted exceptions to the Constitutional mandate that no search or seizure shall be made except by virtue of a warrant issued by a judge after personally determining the existence of probable cause. This is so considering that before a warrant could be obtained. (c) the evidence must be immediately apparent[. the rules governing search and seizure have been steadily liberalized whenever a moving vehicle is the object of the search on the basis of practicality. Bagista.18 Probable cause is defined as a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to induce a cautious man to believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense charged.17 Without probable cause. such a warrantless search has been held to be valid only as long as the officers conducting the search have reasonable or probable cause to believe before the search that they will find the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to a crime. however. 6.e. it is necessary that the officer effecting the arrest or seizure must have been impelled to do so because of probable cause. the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense is based on actual facts. It would be unreasonable to require him to procure a warrant before conducting the search under the circumstances. A search warrant may readily be obtained when the search is made in a store. It refers to the existence of such facts and circumstances that can lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed.
This in no way. and 7. Seizure of evidence in "plain view. Stop and Frisk. on an aircraft. But it is impracticable to obtain a warrant when the search is conducted on a mobile ship. (d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence without further search. Search of a moving vehicle. gives the police officers unlimited discretion to conduct warrantless searches of automobiles in the absence of probable cause. Highly regulated by the government. 3. 2. Indeed. 4. coupled with good faith on the part of the peace officers making the arrest. Consented warrantless search. dwelling house or other immobile structure. the articles seized cannot be admitted in evidence against the person arrested.13]. or in other motor vehicles since they can quickly be moved out of the locality or jurisdiction where the warrant must be sought. supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. a warrantless search had been upheld in cases of a moving vehicle. the vehicle's inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a criminal activity. Aside from a search incident to a lawful arrest.] and. Customs search. With regard to the search of moving vehicles. (b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who had the right to be where they are. 5.19 The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when. The essential requisite of probable cause must be satisfied before a warrantless search and seizure can be lawfully conducted. and that the items.14 Both the trial court and the CA anchored their respective decisions on the fact that the search was conducted on a moving vehicle to justify the validity of the search. PO2 Pallayoc had to make a quick decision and act fast. it is readily apparent that the search in this case is valid. i.20 Over the years.16 the Court said: The constitutional proscription against warrantless searches and seizures admits of certain exceptions.. The vehicle that carried the contraband or prohibited drugs was about to leave. Time was of the essence in this case.22 Given the discussion above. and the seizure of evidence in plain view.15 In People v. the place. When a vehicle is stopped and subjected to an extensive search. in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers. It is well to remember that in the instances we have recognized as exceptions to the requirement of a judicial warrant. articles or objects sought in connection with said offense or subject to seizure and destruction by law are in the place to be searched.21 This exception is easy to understand. Exigent and Emergency Circumstances. this had been justified on the ground that the mobility of motor vehicles makes it possible for the vehicle to be searched to move out of the locality or jurisdiction in which the warrant must be sought. The searching officer had no time
. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause. in the vehicle to be searched. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court and by prevailing jurisprudence. things and persons to be searched must be described to the satisfaction of the issuing judge – a requirement which borders on the impossible in instances where moving vehicle is used to transport contraband from one place to another with impunity." the elements of which are: (a) a prior valid intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties.
distribute. – The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals.24 Be that as it may. the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with section 7 of Rule 112. however. a warrant is necessary for a valid arrest. It is well to remember that on October 26.—A person lawfully arrested may be searched for dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission of an offense without a search warrant. Dispensation. This Court has also. Section 13. Although. When the circumstances establish the purpose of an accused to transport and the fact of transportation itself.—A peace officer or a private person may. the person to be arrested has committed.32 Moreover. the Rules of Court provides the exceptions therefor. arrest a person: (a) When. upheld as valid a warrantless search incident to a lawful arrest. or shall act as a broker in such transactions. including any and all species of opium poppy regardless of the quantity and purity involved. and had set up a checkpoint around the area to intercept the suspects.
Article II. 5. PO2 Pallayoc had probable cause to search the packages allegedly containing illegal drugs. administer. are regulatory statutes. and their violation gives rise to crimes mala prohibita. When an accused is charged with illegal possession or transportation of prohibited drugs. deliver.29 Jurisprudence defines "transport" as "to carry or convey from one place to another. without legal authority. Rule 126 of the Rules of Court provides: SEC.31 The fact that there is actual conveyance suffices to support a finding that the act of transporting was committed and it is immaterial whether or not the place of destination is reached.26 Appellant’s alleged lack of knowledge does not constitute a valid defense. the night before appellant’s arrest. shall sell. he only had enough time to board the vehicle before the same left for its destination. who. it is imperative that there be a prior valid arrest."30 There is no definitive moment when an accused "transports" a prohibited drug. dispatch in transit or transport any controlled precursor and essential chemical. the ownership thereof is immaterial. give away to another. In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above. 5 Sale.to obtain a warrant. Thus. is actually committing. is punishable under the Dangerous Drugs Act. unless authorized by law.
.00) to Ten million pesos (P10. Laws defining crimes mala prohibita condemn behavior directed not against particular individuals.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (P500.00) shall be imposed upon any person who. dispense. is of no consequence. trade. time and again. Arrest without warrant. In her defense. when lawful. Indeed. 2005.00) shall be imposed upon any person. dispatch in transit or transport any dangerous drug. Section 5 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 states: SEC. They are rules of convenience designed to secure a more orderly regulation of the affairs of society.28 Anti-narcotics laws. without a warrant.23 For this rule to apply. in his presence.27 Mere possession and/or delivery of a prohibited drug. PO2 Pallayoc met the secret agent from the Barangay Intelligence Network. and (c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending. Delivery. like anti-gambling laws.25 Given that the search was valid. administer. give away to another.000. the police received information that marijuana was to be transported from Barangay Balbalayang. or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another. Thus. distribute. deliver. Administration. there should be no question as to the perpetration of the criminal act. to wit: SEC. dispense. we have held that a search substantially contemporaneous with an arrest can precede the arrest if the police has probable cause to make the arrest at the outset of the search. Consequently. shall sell. or shall act as a broker in any of such transactions. but against public order. 2005. The penalty of imprisonment ranging from twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (P100. unless authorized by law. who informed him that a baggage of marijuana was loaded on a passenger jeepney about to leave for the poblacion.000.000. as in this case.000. 13. Search incident to lawful arrest. Trading.000. appellant averred that the packages she was carrying did not belong to her but to a neighbor who had asked her to carry the same for him. or is attempting to commit an offense. At dawn of October 27. This contention. generally. proof of ownership of the confiscated marijuana is not necessary. Lack of criminal intent and good faith are not exempting circumstances where the crime charged is malum prohibitum. appellant’s arrest based on that search is also valid.34 Appellant failed to rebut this presumption. appellant’s possession of the packages containing illegal drugs gave rise to the disputable presumption33 that she is the owner of the packages and their contents. trade. (b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.
seized and/or surrendered. it is but logical to first ask what the packages contained and where these would be taken. The justifiable ground will remain unknown because appellant did not question the custody and disposition of the items taken from her during the trial. – The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. she alleged that the apprehending police officers failed to follow the procedure in the custody of seized prohibited and regulated drugs. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. as appellant said. revealing the illegal drugs. appellant argues that the prosecution failed to prove the corpus delicti of the crime. plant sources of dangerous drugs. for proper disposition in the following manner: (1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. No. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. While it is true that the arresting officer failed to state explicitly the justifiable ground for non-compliance with Section 21. if. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ).36 PO2 Pallayoc identified the bricks. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items. Seized and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs. the police requested the Mayor to witness the opening of the bags seized from appellant. whichever is practicable. Section 21 of R. Lao-ang ran away after they disembarked from the jeepney. apparatuses. immediately after seizure and
confiscation. Likewise. or make the items seized inadmissible. or at the nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team. or his/her representative or counsel. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. Seized. No. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. PO2 Pallayoc testified that after apprehending appellant. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof: Provided. Provided. after appellant’s arrest. and articles. this does not necessarily mean that appellant’s arrest was illegal or that the items seized are inadmissible. In all prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. to wit: Section 21. that the physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the place where the search warrant is served. It is admitted that there were no photographs taken of the drugs seized. She could have moved for the quashal of the information at the first instance. in case of warrantless seizures. immediately after seizure and confiscation. It was the Mayor who opened the packages. that non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. The black bag yielded three bricks of marijuana wrapped in newspaper. appellant and her companion should have ran after him to give him the bags he had left with them. When the Mayor arrived.37 Based on the testimony of PO2 Pallayoc. Next. and not to continue on their journey without knowing where they were taking the bags. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items. and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. If it is true that Bennie Lao-ang merely asked her and her companion to carry some baggages. he opened the bag in front of appellant and the other police officers. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized.A. this Court has already previously held that non-compliance with Section 21 is not fatal and will not render an accused’s arrest illegal. But she did not. 9165 further provides: SECTION 21. the prosecution’s evidence establishes the chain of custody from the time of appellant’s arrest until the prohibited drugs were tested at the police crime laboratory. further. enjoyed the presumption of regularity in the performance of official
. seized and/or surrendered. Hence. which were thereafter marked and sent to the police crime laboratory the following day. The dangerous drug is the very corpus delicti of that crime. Then the seized items were brought to the PNP Crime Laboratory for examination. the actions of the police officers. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. for proper disposition in the following manner: (a) The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. Contrary to appellant’s claim. He and PO3 Stanley Campit then marked the same. she was immediately brought to the police station where she stayed while waiting for the Mayor. – The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.Her uncorroborated claim of lack of knowledge that she had prohibited drug in her possession is insufficient. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ). instruments. Appellant’s narration of facts deserves little credence. In particular.35 Thus. 9165 prescribes the procedure for custody and disposition of seized dangerous drugs.A. or his/her representative or counsel. she is deemed to have waived any objection on the matter. Further. plant sources of dangerous drugs. However. the existence of all dangerous drugs is a sine qua non for conviction. while the plastic bag yielded two bundles of marijuana and two bricks of marijuana fruiting tops. appellant should have raised this issue before the trial court. At the station. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. controlled precursors and essential chemicals.38 Even assuming that the police officers failed to abide by Section 21. that appellant was not accompanied by counsel. and that no representative from the media and the DOJ were present. he immediately brought her to the police station. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. in relation to the procedural rules on the chain of custody. and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs.
" People vs. G. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.functions. this present motion under consideration should have been filed with the RTC-Branch 23 of Manila.R. Thus. Bans5 where we ruled Generally. existent or known shall be raised in the original or subsequent proceedings for the quashal of the warrant. 135503 July 6. a motion to quash the same may be filed in and shall be resolved by said court. petitioner. the Court cannot afford to ignore the long established rule that "courts of equal rank and jurisdiction are proscribed from interfering with or passing upon the orders or processes of its coordinate counterpart. thus: 1) The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall have primary jurisdiction to issue search warrants necessitated by and for purposes of said case. 19.R. 96-5051 upon application of the Presidential Task Force on Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence (PTFIC). LapuLapu City. respondent. Court of Appeals. Garaygay located in Marigondon. a place outside the territorial jurisdiction of the issuing court. No. On the other hand. An application for a search warrant may be filed with another court only under extreme and compelling circumstances that the applicant must prove to the satisfaction of the latter which may or may not give due course to the application depending on the validity of the justification offered for not filing the same in the court with primary jurisdiction thereover. the prosecution successfully established appellant’s guilt. presiding over Branch 23.39 In sum. this rule cannot be applied. Courts accord credence and full faith to the testimonies of police authorities. petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City a Motion to Quash Search Warrant and To Exclude Illegally Seized Evidence dated 26 September 1996 on the ground that the search warrant was issued in violation of Supreme Court Circular No. May 22. CR-HC No. Manila) is in a vantage position to resolve this instant motion inasmuch as it has in its possession all the available records and can. in the light of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court inMalaloan v. Given the facts of this case. 139 SCRA 152 ). ammunition and other prohibited paraphernalia. therefore. vs. BELLOSILLO. the foregoing premises considered. In its
WILLIAM A. Woolcock. otherwise they shall be deemed waived (emphasis supplied). the rationale is to avoid confusion as regards the issue of jurisdiction over the case and to promote an orderly administration of justice. Further. her conviction must be affirmed. Subsequently.: WHICH COURT should resolve the motion to quash search warrant in a case where the court that issued it is not the court with which the case is filed as a consequence of the service of the warrant? On 30 July 1996 the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.. 02718 is AFFIRMED. make an intelligible assessment of the evidence on hand. Paño. 1995. Thereafter the PTFIC through its Regional Task Group conducted a raid on the house of petitioner resulting in the seizure of several items of firearms.7 Petitioner questioned the denial of his motion to quash in a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. The warrant authorized a search of the house of petitioner William A. x x x x Moreover x x x x we are of the considered view that the issuing court (RTC-Br. SO ORDERED. 232 SCRA 249. May 6. On 7 August 1996 an Information for violation of PD 18662 was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City3 against petitioner who upon being arraigned pleaded not guilty. 2000
same court before which the criminal case is pending as a result of its issuance. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. J. 1994. however.4 and that it was a general warrant. There could have been no problem had the court which issued the search warrant was likewise the
. all incidents relating to the validity of the warrant issued should be consolidated with that branch trying the criminal case (see Nolasco v. et al. Said guidelines are quoted below. an order of a court of competent jurisdiction may not be modified or altered by any court of concurrent jurisdiction. GARAYGAY. absent any convincing proof to the contrary. the trial court resolved the same ahead of the merits of petitioner's motion to quash and held x x x x Thus. 2) When the latter court issues the search warrant. But petitioner reminded the trial court of People v. explosives. except in extreme situations authorized by law. the prosecution argued that the motion to quash should have been filed with the RTC of Manila which issued the warrant. But if the criminal case which was subsequently filed by virtue of the serach warrant is raffled off to a different branch. WHEREFORE.6 On 17 January 1997 the trial court thus denied petitioner's motion to quash and ordered the Branch Clerk of Court to set the case for pre-trial conference. the appeal is DISMISSED. 244 SCRA 235. issued Search Warrant No. as they are presumed to be performing their duties regularly. 23. without prejudice to any proper recourse to the appropriate high court by the party aggrieved by the resolution of the issuing court. All grounds and objections then available. Treating the argument of the prosecution as a prejudicial question.
for respondent court to make an independent and objective appreciation of the evidence and merits of the criminal case. two different branches of the same Regional Trial Court are involved. however.k. Thus. applicable only when. Court of Appeals was interpreted. as in the present case. petitioner now submits to this Court the issue for resolution. cited in the reasoning of the trial court. Paño. . that "William Garaygay a. On the other hand. ammunition and other paraphernalia alluded to in the Information. de la Cruz when this Court said that "the remedy for questioning the validity of a search warrant can be sought in the court that issued it. petitioner cites Nolasco v. Court of Appeals12 where. room. We explained further therein the underlying reason for the rule – x x x x If the rule had been otherwise. and the Presiding Judge in the criminal case should have the right to act on petitions to exclude evidence unlawfully obtained. and the Presiding Judge in the criminal case should have the right to act on petitions to exclude evidence unlawfully obtained. Woolcock upon which the trial court and the Court of Appeals heavily relied.10we ruled that relief from a search warrant claimed to be invalid should be sought in the court that issued it. and the former will thereafter be restrained from reviewing such finding in view of the doctrine of non-interference observed between courts of concurrent and coordinate jurisdiction. It should be advisable that. the SEARCH WARRANT CASE should be consolidated with the criminal case for orderly procedure. Petitioner next argues that the search in his shanty and in the abandoned building was made by elements of the PTFIC without any witness. if not impossible. or Branch. or Branch. as a result of the service of the Search warrant. Rule 126. in the absence of the latter. Such a situation will thus make it difficult . the main purpose of which is to assure stability and consistency in judicial actuations and to avoid confusion that may otherwise ensue if courts of coordinate jurisdiction are permitted to interfere with each other's lawful orders. of the Rules of Criminal Procedure which provides that "[n]o search of house. the search warrant was issued by the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 23). if the issuing court had been allowed to resolve the Motion to Quash the search warrant despite the pendency of a criminal case arising therefrom before another court. and. Bans) is. when a search warrant is issued by one court. . different from the court which issued the warrant. the second of five (5) "policy guidelines" laid down in Malaloan v."
In 1967. whenever a Search Warrant has been issued by one Court or Branch and a criminal prosecution is initiated in another Court or Branch as a result of the service of the Search Warrant. . He argues that a search warrant to be valid must particularly describe the place to be searched. The later criminal case is more substantial than the Search Warrant proceeding. Cebu x x x x" When the shanty where he was then sleeping was searched by the authorities they found one (1) 9mm Glock pistol duly licensed in his name. In the present case. appeared to have reverted to Templo v. the ruling in the case ofPeople v." People v. That case involved two courts having different geographical jurisdictions x x x x8 For resolution now before this Court are these issues: (a) whether the trial court of Lapu-Lapu City where the criminal case was filed is clothed with authority to resolve the Motion to Quash Search Warrant . The Court of Appeals explained x x x x This ruling (People v. the court trying the criminal case should be allowed to rule on the validity of the search warrant in order to arrive at a judicious administration of justice. Woolcock. i. Aside from invoking People v. Paño9 which was quoted in Bans It should be advisable that. Bans substantially restated the doctrine in Nolasco v." At any rate. For this reason. the Search Warrant Case should be consolidated with the criminal case for orderly procedure. Subsequently however. in violation of Sec. whenever a Search Warrant has been issued by one Court.assailed Decision of 18 May 1998 the appellate court dismissed the petition and on 11 September 1998 rejected likewise his motion for reconsideration. People v. William Flores/Willy Ybañez of Brgy. Assuming that the RTC of Lapu-Lapu City is not vested with authority to resolve the issue of the validity of the search warrant. we declared that "the pendency of the Search Warrant Case and of the Subversive Documents Case before two (2) different courts is not conducive to an orderly administration of justice. it would give rise to the absurd situation where the judge hearing the criminal case will be bound by the declaration of of the validity of the search warrant made by the issuing judge. e. i. and a criminal prosecution is initiated in another Court..a. the latest jurisprudence on the matter is People v. Thereafter. all incidents relating to the validity of the warrant should be consolidated with the branch trying the criminal case. 7. Bans anew. 244 SCRA 235. or any other premises shall be made except in the presence of the lawful occupant thereof or any member of his family or. as in the Bans case. It was in that abandoned building where the authorities allegedly found the firearms. explosives. in Pagkalinawan v. if the criminal case by virtue of the warrant is raffled off to a branch other than the one which issued the warrant. With regard to the case at bar. The subject guideline.. is applicable. not in the sala of another judge of concurrent jurisdiction. the search warrant merely stated. We emphasized that any other view would be subversive of a doctrine that has been steadfastly adhered to. Lapu-Lapu City. the criminal case is pending before the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City (Branch 54). in the presence of two witnesses of sufficient age and discretion residing in the same locality. (b) whether the search warrant issued by the RTC of Manila is valid. among others. de la Cruz11 where the accused likewise questioned the validity of the search warrant before a court of concurrent jurisdiction." Petitioner submits that. concerns possible conflicts in the exercise of jurisdiction where the criminal case is pending in one court and the search warrant is issued by another court
. Gomez.e. necessarily. The later criminal case is more substantial than the Search Warrant proceeding. This doctrine was reiterated in Templo v. in Nolasco v. he was dragged to an abandoned building about ten (10) to fifteen (15) meters away. Paño. all the items confiscated by the authorities on the basis of the invalid search warrant should be excluded in the criminal case for being "fruits of the poisonous tree. Marigondon.
and/or STRONG SPORTS GEAR CO. No. x--------------------------------------------x TRENDWORKS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION. Branch 24 dated 7 November 2002. accordingly. MORALES and/or any of its other proprietor/s. and/or STRONGSHOES WAREHOUSE and/or STRONG FASHION SHOES TRADING and/or TAN TUAN HONG and/or VIOLETA T. it is not the rule that a motion to quash the warrant (or to retrieve things thereunder seized) may be filed only with the issuing Court.. assailing the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Petitioner-Intervenor. and/or STRONG SPORTS GEAR CO. In order to prevent forum shopping. the interested party may move in the court where the criminal case is pending for the suppression as evidence of the personal property seized under the warrant if the same is offered therein for said purpose. women’s.. Petitioner is not doing business in the Philippines and is suing before the trial court only to protect its intellectual property rights.A. Petitioner. 63364. both to be used in men’s. In the course of business. Ed & Joe’s Commercial Arcade. quashing Search Warrant No. as well as its Resolution denying reconsideration thereof is SET ASIDE. we hold that petitioner's Motion to Quash Search Warrant and To Exclude Illegally Seized Evidence was properly filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City.13 WHEREFORE.S. 153 Quirino Avenue. 02-2827 and directing National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Special Investigator Carlos N. 164321 November 30. MAGAYAGA and/or JEFFREY R.R. the petition is partially GRANTED. The second issue raised by petitioner involves factual matters which should be properly addressed to the trial court. Instead. or whichever branch the case may be properly assigned therein. No. MAGAYAGA and/or JEFFREY R. 77269. and hats. The Decision of the Court of Appeals which sustained the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City in denying petitioner's Motion to Quash Search Warrant and To Exclude Illegally Seized Evidence. Class 25 on 30 August 1996. Petitioner is a foreign corporation existing under the laws of the State of California. shoes. sweat shirts.R. Where no motion to quash the search warrant was filed in or resolved by the issuing court. the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City. 2006
SKECHERS. Ed & Joe’s Commercial Arcade. Such a motion may be filed for the first time in either the issuing Court or that in which the criminal action is pending. U. and the trademark "S" (within an oval design) under Registration No. a motion to quash shall consequently be governed by the omnibus motion rule. Parañaque City. No. socks.: Before Us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. not cumulative. Respondents. Borromeo III to return the seized items to respondents and the Order dated 6 March 2003 denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. Respondents. the remedy is alternative.
SO ORDERED. that objections not available. women’s and children’s clothing. employees and/or occupants of its premises located at S-7. which denied petitioner’s Petition for Certiorari seeking to annul the Order2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. and men’s. provided. Parañaque City. 153 Quirino Avenue. No costs. sweat pants. LTD.. petitioner registered the trademark "SKECHERS" with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) under Registration No. and the proceedings thereon are subject to the Omnibus Motion Rule and the rule against forumshopping. we rule that the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City has jurisdiction to resolve the Motion to Quash Search Warrant and To Exclude Illegally Seized Evidence. officers. namely. The Court first taking cognizance of the motion does so to the exclusion of the other. a motion to quash a search warrant and a motion to suppress evidence are alternative and not cumulative remedies. Class 25 on 12 July 2000. employees and/or occupants of its premises located at S-7. INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP. Since two separate courts with different participations are involved in this situation. shorts. vs. and/or STRONGSHOES WAREHOUSE and/or STRONG FASHION SHOES TRADING and/or TAN TUAN HONG and/or VIOLETA T. MORALES and/or any of its other proprietor/s. We clarified the principle in People v.. 4-1996-110182. INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP. particularly Branch 54 thereof. however. No compelling reason exists for this Court to impinge on a matter more appropriately within the province of the trial court. is directed to conduct its proceedings thereon with deliberate dispatch taking into account the time already lost. G. directors. namely. Petitioner also has a pending application for the trademark "S" and design to be used for the same kinds of goods. dated 17 November 2003. However. United States of America and engaged in the manufacture of footwear.
. t-shirts. LTD. This is clearly stated in the third policy guideline which indeed is what properly applies to the case at bar.1avvphi1 Conformably therewith. vs. to wit: 3. directors. Court of Appeals thus x x x x Where a search warrant is issued by one court and the criminal action based on the results of the search is afterwards commenced in another court.. and/or INTER PACIFIC TRADING CORP. The resolution of the court on the motion to suppress shall likewise be subject to any proper remedy in the appropriate higher court (underscoring supplied). existent or known during the proceedings for the quashal of the warrant may be raised in the hearing of the motion to suppress. boots and slippers of all kinds. and/or INTER PACIFIC TRADING CORP. SP No. J. INC..for the seizure of personal property intended to be used as evidence in the criminal case. and children’s footwear. officers. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO.
00. Baclaran Terminal. manufacture and sale of counterfeit products bearing the trademarks owned by petitioner. Alvin Ambion. the search warrants were simultaneously served by the operatives of the Intellectual Property Rights Division
of the NBI and seized from the warehouse 71 boxes containing 36 pairs of rubber shoes each or 2. with Mr. on 21 May 2002 Mr. After personally examining the search warrant applicant and his witness. Angeles visited respondent’s outlet store in Baclaran. proceeded to Branch 24. On 11 April 2002. These are shoes which vary in price. the court a quo found probable cause to issue the search warrants applied for and thus issued on the same day Search Warrant Nos. 153 Quirino Avenue. On 7 November 2002. together with NBI Special Investigator Carlos N. Taft Avenue Ext. In compliance with the Order dated 9 July 2002 of the RTC directing respondents to file their Comment on the issuance of the search warrant. Amelita Angeles. otherwise known as The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Parañaque City. Ambion saw different kinds and models of rubber shoes including shoes bearing the "S" logo. That same afternoon. Ambion that they have an outlet located at Stall C-11. Thus. A careful perusal of the Strong Rubber Shoes and Skechers shoes presented by both respondents and private complainants reveals glaring differences that an ordinary prudent purchaser would not likely be mislead or confused in purchasing the wrong article. (Zetetic). Ambion and Ms. Mr.. Manila. 02-2827 and directing the NBI to return to respondents the items seized by virtue of said search warrant. counsel for petitioner filed a letter complaint with the Office of the NBI Director requesting their assistance in stopping the illegal importation.Sometime in March 2002. Further. On 11 June 2002. Ambion again visited respondent’s warehouse on 12 April 2002 and purchased four pairs of rubber shoes bearing the "Strong" mark containing the "S" logo for P730. According to the courta quo: The question to be posed in this case is this: Will the purchaser be deceived or likely to be deceived into purchasing respondent’s Strong Rubber Shoes because of the belief that they are Skechers shoes in the ordinary course of purchase? We answer in the negative. Together with his colleague. On the same day.
. they went to respondent’s outlet store in Baclaran and therein purchased a pair of rubber shoes also bearing the "Strong" name and the "S" logo. Strong Shoes are modestly priced compared to the costs of Sketchers Shoes. Pasay City. 3. to conduct an investigation on Inter Pacific Industrial Trading Corporation (Inter Pacific) in coordination with the NBI to confirm if Inter Pacific is indeed engaged in the importation. Mr. which sells the same footwear products. Magayaga. Mr. 2. Ambion and Ms. On 28 August 2002.528 pairs of rubber shoes bearing the "S" logo and six pages of various documents evidencing the sale and distribution of similar merchandise. Upon entering said warehouse.A. petitioner engaged the services of Zetetic Far East. Angeles. managed by Violeta T. a Market Researcher for Zetetic. Borromeo III of the Intellectual Property Rights Division of the NBI. and in prosecuting the owners of the establishments engaged therein. During the visit. 147 boxes containing 24 pairs per box or 3. 8293. Mr. 295 pairs of rubber shoes bearing the "S" logo and five pieces of rubber shoes bearing the "S" logo. visited the business address of Inter Pacific/Strongshoes Warehouse and/or Strong Fashion Shoes Trading at S-7 No. 4. The word "Strong" is conspicuously placed at the backside and insoles. the same should be considered as a whole and not piecemeal. although the mark "S" is prominent on both products. Afterwards. Confusion and deception is less likely. The casual buyer is predisposed to be more cautious and discriminating and would prefer to mull over his purchase. 7 of Ed & Joe’s Commercial Arcade. On 17 May 2002. The mark "S" found in Strong Shoes is not enclosed in an "oval design". the products involved in the case at bar are not your ordinary household items.S. respondents filed their Compliance and Comment with Prayer to Quash the search warrants. visited respondent’s warehouse located at Ed & Joe’s Commercial Arcade and purchased 24 pairs of rubber shoes bearing the "Strong" name and the "S" logo. distribution and sale of unauthorized products bearing counterfeit or unauthorized trademarks owned by petitioner. Another caretaker purportedly informed Mr. Plaza 2 Shopping Center. a private investigative firm. noticeable and substantial. Ambion allegedly talked with the caretakers of said warehouse who informed him that Inter Pacific directly imports the goods from China and that their company distributes them to wholesalers and retailers in the Baclaran area. Ambion as witness. RTC.556 pairs of rubber shoes bearing the "S" logo. Mr. Located at said business address was Warehouse No. and from the outlet store." for private complainant. The hang tags and labels attached to the shoes bears the word "Strong" for respondent and "Sketchers U. xxxx Similarly as in this case. Factoring the variables already cited make the dissimilarities between the two marks conspicuous. Ms. 02-2827 and 02-2828 to be served on the warehouse and retail outlet of respondent. Inc. respondents filed their Amended Comment with Motion to Quash Search Warrants on the ground that there is no confusing similarity between the petitioner’s Skechers’ rubber shoes and respondent’s Strong rubber shoes. the lower court issued the assailed Order quashing Search Warrant No. 1. for which he was issued Sales Invoice No. to apply for search warrants against the warehouse and outlet store being operated and managed by respondent for infringement of trademark under Section 1553 in relation to Section 1704 of Republic Act No. One of the caretakers allegedly claimed that the shoes bearing the "Strong" name with the "S" logo have the same style as Skechers shoes. Some of these are. 0715. Special Investigator Borromeo of the NBI.
42 Phil. We are inclined to agree with the ruling of the public respondent that the holistic test is better suited to the present case and consequently. what essentially determines the attitudes of the purchaser. after examining and evaluating the foregoing factual milieu and the respective arguments of the parties. Motion to Quash Search [Warrant] is hereby granted. 02-2827 is quashed. For it is not amiss to state that the letter "S" has been used in many existing trademarks..e. and matters of everyday purchase requiring frequent replacement are bought by the casual consumer without care x x x. xxxx Going further. the most popular of which is the trademark "S" enclosed by an inverted triangle. coffee or candy which are commonly inexpensive.5 Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was subsequently denied in an Order dated 6 March 2003. 190). a person who buys a box of candies will not exercise as much care as one who buys an expensive watch. (147 SCRA 154) is in no way controlling in the instant case considering that it involved a different factual milieu in contrast with that of the instant case.Finally. specifically his inclination to be cautious. hold that the private respondents’ appropriation and use of the letter "S" on their rubber shoes did not constitute an infringement of the trademark of the petitioner. the letter "S" used on private respondents’ rubber shoes in the instant case could hardly be considered as highly identifiable to the products of petitioner alone. i. A careful appreciation of the products in question readily reveals that these products are not the ordinary household items like catsup. the respondent sought for the registration of the trademark "UNIVERSAL CONVERSE AND DEVICE" used on rubber shoes. the likelihood of confusion would still subsists. (Emerald Garment Manufacturing Corp. Court of Appeals. To be sure." "ALL STAR CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR. like beer and maong pants and jeans. say Adidas. Carlos N. Court of Appeals (181 SCRA 410)." OR "ALL STAR DEVICE. x x x. He is. the ordinary purchaser would be naturally inclined to closely examine specific details and would prefer to mull over his purchase. petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court before the Court of Appeals assailing the Orders of the court a quo on the ground that public respondent court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack and/or excess of jurisdiction in ruling that the act of private respondents in selling and distributing rubber shoes which contain the trademarks and designs owned by petitioner does not constitute trademark infringement. Universal Rubber Products. the appellate court denied the petition in this wise: In the instant case. On the other hand. In said case. who "is accustomed to buy. As a general rule. supra) ACCORDINGLY. that the trademark sought to be registered by respondent is distinctively dissimilar from those of the petitioner. Search Warrant No. the case of Converse Rubber Corp. symbols or words. is clear on this point: Among these. Expensive and valuable items are normally bought only after deliberate. Superman. The case of Del Monte Corp. 251 SCRA 600. low priced articles in wide use. an ordinary buyer does not exercise as much prudence in buying an article for which he pays a few centavos as he does in purchasing a more valuable thing. But mass products. Tan Tiao Bok. deception or
mistake on the part of the ordinary buying public. Petitioner opposed on the ground that respondent’s trademark is confusingly similar to petitioner’s corporate name which is CONVERSE RUBBER CORPORATION and that it would likely deceive purchasers of products on which it is to be used to an extent that said products may be mistaken by the unwary public to be manufactured by the petitioner. not on the purchaser’s perception of the goods but on the origins thereof. Hence. vs." The High Court denied the application for registration of respondent’s trademark ratiocinating as follows: The similarity in the general appearance of respondent’s trademark and that of petitioner would evidently create a likelihood of confusion among the purchasing public. more or less. In his context. Inc. and therefore to some extent familiar with the goods" (Dy Buncio vs. although one of the essential features of the private respondents’ shoes is the letter "S"." respondent’s products are likely to be mistaken as having been produced by petitioner. On 17 November 2003. the instant petition must necessarily fail. The word "CONVERSE" is highly identified not only to the products of Converse Rubber Corporation but to the corporate entity most importantly such that the mere appropriation of the word "CONVERSE" on products like rubber shoes. which is extremely and profoundly identifiable to the well-known comics action hero. But even assuming arguendo. Aggrieved. comparative and analytical investigation. By appropriating the world "CONVERSE. vs. would not only likely but actually cause one to be mistaken that such rubber shoes had been produced by Converse Rubber Corporation. Reebok. The applicant. respondent’s Inter Pacific Industrial Trading Corporation. "CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR. regardless of whether or not it was compounded with other letters. knowledgeable and familiar with his preference and will not easily be distracted. Verily. For it must be stressed that an ordinary purchaser of a product like a pair of rubber shoes is an intelligent buyer. And perhaps it is due to the existence of these trademarks containing letter "S" that the petitioner was prompted to accessorize that letter "S" in its trademark with an outer oval design and accompany it with the word "SKECHERS" in order to make it distinct from the rest and identifiable only to
. Borromeo of the National Bureau of Investigation is hereby directed to return to respondents the seized items. As such. the foregoing ruling does not apply on all fours in the instant case. v. is the cost of the goods. He does not ask the sales clerk for rubber shoes but for." "CONVERSE ALL STAR. the average consumer generally buys his rubber shoes by brand. contrary to the contention of the petitioner. The risk of damage is not limited to a possible confusion of goods but also includes confusion of reputation if the public could reasonably assume that the goods of the parties originated from the same source. or Nike. suffice it to state that this alone would not likely cause confusion.
Furthermore. The special civil action for certiorari is not a remedy for errors of judgment. After reevaluating the evidence presented before it. particularly the unauthorized use of the "S" logo by respondent in their Strong rubber shoes. After all. However. it is a hornbook doctrine in our jurisdiction that certiorari will not be issued to cure errors in proceedings or to correct erroneous conclusions of law and fact. Civil Service Commission. the foregoing case involves a peculiar factual milieu in stark contrast with the instant case." although a dominant feature in petitioner’s trademark. 360 SCRA 99). Further. it is paramount to stress that the power to issue search warrants is exclusively vested with the trial judges in the exercise of their judicial function. he is not precluded to subsequently quash the same. upon motion of respondent to quash the search warrant. the courts must be provided with the opportunity to correct itself of an error inadvertently committed. According to respondent. respondent maintains that it is logical for the Court of Appeals to touch on the issue of whether or not there was trademark infringement since it was the very issue raised in the Petition for Certiorari. respondent claims that the trial court may not be faulted for quashing the search warrants it had issued
after finding that there was no basis for its issuance in the first place. back side and insoles. What is extremely and profoundly identifiable to the products of the petitioner is the whole trademark consisting of the letter "S" enclosed by a uniquely designed oval. the trial court may not be faulted for reversing its initial finding that there was probable cause. petitioner filed the instant case contending that the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in considering matters of defense in a criminal trial for trademark infringement in passing upon the validity of the search warrant and in concluding that respondents are not guilty of trademark infringement in the case where the sole triable issue is the existence of probable cause to issue a search warrant. Taking off from the foregoing premises. Based on the courts’ inherent power to issue search warrants and to quash the same. is neither extremely and profoundly identifiable to the products of petitioner alone nor has it acquired a certain connotation to mean the rubber shoes produced by the petitioner. As such. This exercise of judgment was further strengthened by the affirmation of the Court of Appeals that public respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ruling that the acts of respondent do not constitute trademark infringement in light of the factual and legal issues presented before it for consideration. the court must necessarily resolve whether or not an offense exists to justify the issuance or quashal of the search warrant. in consideration of the foregoing premises. Based on its appreciation of the respective parties’ arguments and the pieces of evidence. xxxx As set out in the decision. As such. Furthermore their hang tags and labels attached to the shoes bear the word "STRONG. the court was acting reasonably when it went into a discussion of whether or not there was trademark
. if he finds upon re-evaluation of the evidence that no probable cause exists. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration having been denied in an Order dated 18 June 2004.9Though there is no fixed rule for the determination of the existence of probable cause since the existence depends to a large degree upon the finding or opinion of the judge conducting the examination. confusion and deception are less likely in the instant case considering that the private respondents’ rubber shoes were distinctly and conspicuously marked "STRONG" at their front side.10 however. In ruling that there was no colorable imitation of petitioner’s trademark in light of the factual milieu prevalent in the instant case. At this juncture. after full appreciation of the trademarks and logos depicted in the rubber shoes presented before the court a quo for close comparison. After conducting the hearing on the application for a search warrant. the public respondent judge was merely exercising his judgmental call conformably with the factual and legal issues proferred and presented before him. the subject search warrant was issued allegedly in connection with trademark infringement. According to respondent. the dominancy test as applied in the Converse case could not be applied in the instant case inasmuch as the letter "S. 12 In the case at bar. which are correctible by appeal (Montecillo vs. the findings of the judge should not disregard the facts before him nor run counter to the clear dictates of reason. With this. 11 In the determination of probable cause. the trial court concluded that respondent’s appropriation of the symbol "S" on their rubber shoes does not constitute an infringement on the trademark of petitioner. particularly the samples of the original Skechers rubber shoes vis-à-vis respondent’s Strong rubber shoes.7 And inherent in the courts’ power to issue search warrants is the power to quash warrants already issued. the dissimilarities between the private respondents’ and petitioner’s shoes became more striking and noticeable to the ordinary purchaser who could not in any way be deceived or misled that the shoes he buys is produced by the petitioner." In view of these. Furthermore. the public respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ruling that the act of the private respondent in selling and distributing rubber shoes which contain the trademarks and designs owned by the petitioners does not constitute trademark infringement. For its part. the holistic test is squarely applicable. Suffice it to state. WHEREFORE. the instant petition is perforce denied. it finds no application in the controversy in the instant case.8 After the judge has issued a warrant. the trial court may reverse its initial finding of probable cause in order that its conclusion may be made to conform to the facts prevailing in the instant case. it was only prudent for the lower court to correct itself and quash the search warrant following a finding that probable cause does not exist for the offense of trademark infringement. the lower court changed its position and declared that there was no probable cause to issue the search warrant as there was no colorable imitation between respondent’s trademark and that of petitioner. the court a quo was initially convinced that there was sufficient reason to justify the issuance of the search warrant. petitioner failed to qualify whether or not the determination of the Court of Appeals should be limited to whether or not there was probable cause to issue the search warrants.its products.
in determining probable cause for issuing or quashing a search warrant. 26.’s petition for prohibition should have been lodged with the Court of Appeals (CA). also known as the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).3They alleged that. and Teresita Almojuela (Mendoza. and b) commit estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. The Facts and the Case On March 26. Carlito Lee. REY BELTRAN. SO ORDERED. Shortly after. DECISION ABAD. et al. 77269. RUFINA ABAD and AMADOR A. NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. 2001 Mendoza. the SEC filed a criminal complaint with the
. RIZZA G. Rey Beltran.6They feared that the seized articles may have already been tampered with. Raul Rivera. COMPENDIO.4 This omission. finds that no offense has been committed. On the following day. 170425 April 23. which leave was granted on August 8. NBI and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) agents searched the offices mentioned and seized the described documents and articles from them. RTC. this is so because in the determination of the existence of probable cause for the issuance or quashal of a warrant. 2001 the Muntinlupa RTC issued a TRO against the three agencies. Sheriff.. Rule 126 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure.R.12 On August 23. et al. 2001. denying their motions for reconsideration and to dismiss. PASTRANA.’s action is one for the suppression of evidence whose seizure had become illegal for failure to turn them over to the issuing court.13This prompted the three agencies to file a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA. Ma.5 which required the officers who conducted the seizure to immediately turn over the seized items to the issuing court.) for violation of Sections 24. Respondent. Opposing the petition. The Muntinlupa petition sought to prevent the SEC and the NBI from using the seized articles in prosecuting Mendoza.13 This finding that there was no colorable imitation of petitioner’s trademark is merely preliminary and did not finally determine the merits of the possible criminal proceedings that may be instituted by petitioner. LODA CALMA. 88 Corporate Center. Branch 63. 2001. WHEREFORE.C. the three agencies maintained that Mendoza. 2002 that court issued an omnibus order. Rex Almojuela. et al. and the DOJ from proceeding with the preliminary investigation of their case. 2001 to dismiss the action. violated Section 1. On January 15. or augmented by those responsible for seizing them. filed with the Makati RTC a motion to quash the subject search warrant for having been issued in connection with several offenses when the Rules of Criminal Procedure9 require its issuance for only one specific offense. Acting on the search warrant. Hilda Ronquillo.1 The court granted the application. Pastrana and Abad. the SEC. et al. the NBI. for the issuance of a search warrant covering documents and articles found at the offices of Amador Pastrana and Rufina Abad at 1908. et al. Costs against petitioner. The court does not oblige the investigating officer not to file an information for the court’s ruling that no crime exists is only for the purposes of issuing or quashing the warrant. Q. 93:141âwphi1 When the court. J. on July 11. As held in the case of Solid Triangle Sales Corp. et al.: This case is about the institution of an action for prohibition and injunction filed by the affected party in one court.infringement. premises considered. Ma. et al. HILDA R. MA. and the DOJ (the three agencies) averred that injunction may not be issued to protect contingent rights or enjoin criminal prosecution. the instant petition is hereby DENIED. Br. TERESITA P.8 Simultaneous with the action before the Muntinlupa RTC. seeking to enjoin the use of evidence seized under a search warrant issued by another court. v. No. August 9. Loda Calma. Linda Capalungan. Valero Street. ALMOJUELA. three months after the search and seizure.R.7 Essentially. RONQUILLO. having assumed as true the uncontroverted allegations in the petition before it. Greshiela Compendio. MENDOZA. filed a petition for prohibition and injunction with application for temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction against the NBI and the SEC before the RTC of Muntinlupa. They pointed out that Mendoza. 2001 the three agencies moved for reconsideration of the Muntinlupa RTC’s orders granting the intervention and the preliminary injunction. LINDA P. they said.10 enjoining them from using the seized articles in proceeding against Mendoza. G. using the same. The NBI alleged that these documents and articles were being used to a) violate Republic Act 8799. Makati City. GRESHIELA G. On July 31. it does not interfere with or encroach upon the proceedings in the preliminary investigation.1 (b) (iii). seeking to annul the Muntinlupa
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. the Muntinlupa RTC replaced the TRO it issued with a writ of preliminary injunction11 subject to the final outcome of the proceedings before the Makati RTC. SP No. Further.2 On July 11. CARLITO LEE. should have exhausted administrative remedies available to them at the DOJ. They also moved on September 13. 2001 respondents Pastrana and Abad asked for leave to intervene in the civil case in the Muntinlupa RTC. dated 17 November 2003 is hereby AFFIRMED. CAPALUNGAN. RAUL RIVERA. Petitioner. altered. Mendoza. vs. it is inevitable that the court may touch on issues properly threshed out in a regular proceeding. On July 19. and 28 of the SRC. 2001 two of the respondents who did not join that action. 2012
Department of Justice (DOJ) against respondents Rizza Mendoza. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. the NBI and the SEC had not turned over the seized articles to the Makati RTC that issued the search warrant. REX ALMOJUELA. 2001 the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) applied with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City.
although the search warrant in this case did not target the residence or offices of Mendoza. Inc. Thus: Section 14.
. et al. et al. no criminal action has in the meantime been filed in court. or on May 10. 2001. It is a special and peculiar remedy. where to file.14 During the pendency of the case before the CA. Mendoza. they were entitled to file with the Makati RTC a motion to suppress the use of the seized items as evidence against them for failure of the SEC and the NBI to immediately turn these over to the issuing court. the People of the Philippines. as in the present case. the motion shall be resolved by the latter court. The proceeding is not one against any person.20 the nature of a search warrant proceeding. The object of the motion to quash search warrant. the CA did not mention the Makati RTC order and did not dismiss the petition before it on ground of mootness. The proceeding for the issuance of a search warrant does not partake of an action where a party complains of a violation of his right by another. were not parties to the issuance of the search warrant. they had no standing to question the same or seek the suppression of evidence taken under it. and made necessary because of public necessity. if such court failed to resolve the motion and a criminal case is subsequently filed
in another court. — A motion to quash a search warrant and/or to suppress evidence obtained thereby may be filed in and acted upon only by the court where the action has been instituted. filed with the Muntinlupa RTC.15 For some reason. to be parties to the search warrant proceeding for them to be able to file a motion to suppress. the motion may be filed in and resolved by the court that issued the search warrant. which quashed the search warrant it issued and declared the items seized under it inadmissible in evidence. that Mendoza. issued under the police power. in no sense. and affirmed the orders of the Muntinlupa RTC. but is solely for the discovery and to get possession of personal property. It is not a process for adjudicating civil rights or maintaining mere private rights. 2002 the Makati RTC rendered a decision nullifying the search warrant it issued and declaring the documents and articles seized under it inadmissible in evidence. since they had reasons for questioning government use of the seized items against them. et al.’s action before the Muntinlupa RTC was proper and distinct from that which respondents Pastrana and Abad filed with the Makati RTC. restricted to cases of public prosecutions. On March 24.1âwphi1 A search warrant has no relation to a civil process. Consequently.16 The three agencies moved for reconsideration but the CA denied the same on November 10. It is not correct to say that only the parties to the application for search warrant can question its issuance or seek suppression of evidence seized under it. et al. Still. The issuing court is the right forum for such motion given that no criminal action had as yet been filed against Mendoza. the object of which is to prohibit the three agencies from using the items seized under the search warrant. et al. v. It resembles in some respect with what is commonly known as John Doe proceedings. However. 19 But Section 14 of Rule 126 is clear. A search warrant is a police weapon. denied the three agencies’ petition. The Court’s Ruling The CA held that the proceedings before the Makati RTC and the Muntinlupa RTC are separate and distinct.21 Clearly. the object of the Muntinlupa injunction case is to prevent the three agencies from using the seized articles in any criminal proceeding against Mendoza. It may only be applied for in the furtherance of public prosecution. The Court clearly explained in United Laboratories. A search warrant must issue in the name of the State. But the rules do not require Mendoza. namely. 2002. Motion to quash a search warrant or to suppress evidence. A search warrant is a legal process which has been likened to a writ of discovery employed by the State to procure relevant evidence of crime. they had the right to bring the injunction action before the Muntinlupa RTC where they resided. drastic in nature. however. et al. August 9. was to test the validity of its issuance. (Emphasis supplied) Although passed off as a petition for injunction. It concerns the public at large as distinguished from the ordinary civil action involving the rights of private persons. one issue—whether or not the CA erred in holding that the Muntinlupa RTC has jurisdiction to entertain Mendoza.18 On the other hand. et al. it does not make it such an action. considering the SEC and the NBI’s failure to immediately turn over the seized articles to the court that issued the warrant as the rules require. 2005. 2001. the action that Mendoza. given that the warrant was made to cover several offenses rather than just one as the rules provide. they filed the present petition for review on certiorari. et al.17Undaunted.RTC’s orders of August 8. While an application for a search warrant is entitled like a criminal action. here filed by respondents Pastrana and Abad with the Makati RTC. If no criminal action has been instituted. Consequently.. in some other court. should have filed it with the Makati RTC that issued such warrant. and January 15. Questions concerning both 1) the issuance of the search warrant and 2) the suppression of evidence seized under it are matters that can be raised only with the issuing court if. It might be pointed out of course that since Mendoza. Isip. among other things. The Makati RTC also directed the SEC and the NBI to return the seized items to respondents Pastrana and Abad. It is in the nature of a criminal process. et al.’s injunction action—needs to be resolved in the interest of setting the matter aright and providing a lesson for the future. is actually an action to suppress their use as evidence. the issuing court. The CA ruled. [A] search warrant proceeding is. a criminal action or the commencement of a prosecution. 2004 it rendered judgment. Issue Presented The issues raised in this petition have essentially been rendered moot and academic by the Makati RTC’s decision.
23 Evidently. Teresita Almojuela. Greshiela Compendio. SEC’s arbitrary action compromised the integrity of the seized documents and articles. Rufina Abad and Amador Pastrana filed with the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa City in Civil Case 01-206 for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the same. Hilda Ronquillo. Rey Beltran. 2004 and its resolution dated November 10. SP 70212 and ORDERS the dismissal of the action for prohibition and injunction that respondents Rizza Mendoza. the Court REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals dated March 24.Parenthetically.R.
. SO ORDERED. the SEC said that it still needed to study the seized items. Linda Capalungan. Ma. Ma. Clearly. it appears from its investigation report that the SEC kept the seized documents and articles for months rather than immediately turn them over to the Makati RTC. it wanted to use them to build up a case against the respondents.22 Justifying its action. Rex Almojuela. 2005 in CA-G. Carlito Lee. unmindful of its duty to first turn them over to the court. WHEREFORE. Loda Calma. Raul Rivera.